ObamaCare bringing out the scammers
September 13, 2013 11:10PM
Dr. Elizabeth Calhoun, director of the Illinois Assister Training Program, lectures in front of a group of people participating in a Assister course, on Friday, September 13, 2013. These Assisters are learning to help uninsured Illinoisans understand the Affordable Care Act. | Chandler West/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 16, 2013 6:16AM
With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act on the horizon, scammers are finding it to be the latest opportunity to steal people’s identities, the Better Business Bureau warns.
The scams work like this: You receive a call from someone claiming to be from the federal government. The scammer says that you have been selected to be part of a group of Americans to receive insurance cards. But before the card can be mailed, your bank account and Social Security number are required. Once they get this information, they can sell it or use it to access your accounts.
“Affordable Care Act scammers are able to easily make consumers think that their calls are legit, especially with such a hot topic like ObamaCare,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Consumers need to realize that the government rarely calls individuals. If you receive this type of call, hang up.”
Other tips to avoid scammers:
Never give out personal information — bank account numbers, date of birth, credit card number or Social Security number.
Don’t rely on caller ID. Some scammers are able to display a company’s name or phone number on the caller ID screen. Don’t trust that the information you see is true.
Most of the time, the government uses traditional snail mail to communicate to consumers. The government rarely calls, emails or texts, so don’t give your information to these types of government messages.
More tips are available at www.bbb.org.