With the recent release of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, scammers use it as another opportunity to steal your identity and commit other types of fraud. Each year, more than 11.5 million Americans become fraud victims. Your Better Business Bureau offers tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of these scams.
Here’s how the Affordable Care Act scam typically works: You receive a call from someone claiming to be from the federal government. The caller says you’ve been selected as part of the initial group of Americans to receive an insurance card through the new Affordable Care Act. However, before the caller can mail your card, he or she needs to verify personal information, such as your bank account and Social Security numbers. The catch is there isn’t a card associated with this health care reform. Scam artists are trying to take advantage of your uncertainty and confusion about the new health care plan.
To protect you and your loved ones, your Better Business Bureau suggests you:
• Never give out personal information, such as credit card, bank account or Social Security numbers to unfamiliar, unsolicited callers or visitors or in response to e-mail or social media.
• Remember, the government uses regular mail, so be cautious of calls, text messages or e-mails.
• Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers have technology that lets them display any number or organization name on your screen.
• Hang up on unfamiliar callers. Don’t press any buttons or call back. Returning the phone call may just give the con artist information he can use.
• Don’t let anyone rush you. The rates have been pre-approved and won’t change during the initial enrollment period, Oct. 1 to March 31. Anyone promising “special price” or “limited time offer” or who tells you “spots are limited” is lying.
• Visit healthcare.gov to learn more about qualified health plans.
Remember, another way to fight fraud and identity theft is to shred documents with personal information. Your BBB can help at Secure Your ID Day presented by Routsong Funeral Home, Inc. on Saturday, October 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Routsong Funeral Home, Inc., located at 81 N. Main St., Centerville. At this free event, your BBB will shred important documents on-site. For more information on the Affordable Care Act or this upcoming event, visit www.dayton.bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.