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Crooks will be playing off people's unfamiliarity with the new Affordable Care Act provisions.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
As a precautionary measure, the Better Business Bureau and Roanoke police are warning consumers to be wary of scammers trying to cash in on the Affordable Care Act.
There have been no confirmed reports of people being targeted in the Roanoke area, according to Julie Wheeler, president and CEO of BBB of Western Virginia.
But with enrollment starting this week for subsidized insurance plans sold through an online marketplace, authorities worry that some people might fall victim to con artists posing as government officials.
“Many Americans are still confused on what their options are, creating a perfect storm for scammers and identity thieves,” the BBB said in a recent statement.
With the Affordable Care Act requiring most people to have health insurance, there have been reports in other parts of the country of scammers calling people at home and claiming to be with the government.
In some cases they have asked for Social Security numbers and other personal information they say is needed for continued coverage by Medicare, even though that program is not a part of the online marketplace.
Other callers have falsely said that people can go to jail if they don’t purchase health insurance.
The BBB and city police are warning people who receive such calls to never give out personal information, and to hang up and report the call to authorities.
“Consumers need to remember that the government rarely calls individuals, and will never call to sign them up for a health care plan,” Wheeler said.
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