Scammers exploit Obamacare to gain personal information

Scammers have latched on to uncertainties and confusions within the Affordable Care Act and are using them as a way to coerce Americans into giving away personal information.

The Better Business Bureau announced that as provisions of Obamacare went into effect in October of 2013, scams could be looming. They could be in the form of a call, where the caller claims to be from the federal government. A scammer may tell you that you have been chosen to receive insurance cards through the new Affordable Care Act and request personal information before mailing you the card.

Requested personal information could be your credit card number, Social Security number, or Medicare ID. They may even have your bank’s routing number and ask for your account number, according to the bureau.

Giving away any personal information puts you at risk for identity theft, allowing scammers to steal from you or open credit cards in your name.

A spokesperson from the Better Business Bureau has advised that if you receive a suspicious phone call you should end the call; hang up and don’t push any buttons. If you receive a voice mail, do not call the person back.  They also said that the government doesn’t typically call, text, or email.

According to the bureau, the only place to shop for a qualified health plan is www.healthcare.gov, a website run by the FTC’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Although anyone can fall victim to a scam, the Better Business Bureau announced that some groups may be targeted more than others. These groups include people over age 65, those who have disabilities, or small-business owners.