Obamacare scams are thriving
The National Consumers League says con artists are taking advantage of confusion about coming changes to U.S. health care laws.
Uncertainty about changes in U.S. health care laws tied to Obamacare, as well as nearing deadlines, are fueling scams that are likely to get worse, the National Consumers League's Fraud.org warned today.
The idea that consumers have to buy health insurance, that potential government penalties are looming and that steps many don't understand are being taken by federal officials have opened the doors to all sorts of crooks.
Scams have been reported nationwide -- some 1,100 related complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission in May alone. Variations of the scams have surfaced in Massachusetts (which already has an established government-operated health insurance marketplace), Nevada, Arizona, as well as Kansas and Alabama, according to the group.
In Kansas and Alabama, the scams involved people pretending to be government workers who requested bank account numbers in the name of setting up health care plans. In Massachusetts, phony websites pretending to be part of the Obamacare (aka the Affordable Care Act) tried to collect information from seniors who were targeted.
In Nevada, a business was sent information pitching phony health insurance plans starting at under $30.
The warning notes that complaints about these scams indicate that they are coming from virtually every means of communication -- phone, fax, email and even face-to-face.
"A common version of the scam involve fraudsters claiming to be from the federal government and directing consumers to purchase insurance cards in order to be eligible for coverage under the ACA," according to the warning. "Scammers intimidate consumers to give them their bank account routing numbers or make a direct cash transfer by using words like 'it is the law' or “the government now requires it.'"
Fraud.org noted that one of the areas of confusion about the new law -- which ramps up next year -- is the penalties that are connected to failing to have health insurance. Some of the scams are tied to telling targets they could face jail time for failing to comply. While that's a powerful message, it isn't true. The penalties are financial.
Fraud.org also noted a scam that takes an entirely different tack -- trying to sell confused consumers on helping them apply for coverage under the new law. These folks claim to be "navigators," as was reported in Arizona. Rather than navigate you through the new law, though, they end up leading victims to give up personal information and pay money for phony insurance.
Here are some tips from Fraud.org to help avoid Obamacare scams:
- Learn about the actual rules and how the changes will affect consumers from the government.
- Government workers will not ask you to wire them money or give out your bank account number.
- Beware of unsolicited calls that ask for you to update personal information because "it's the law."
- Avoid being directed to insurance exchange sites and find them through official channels.
- If you give out information and later realize you were scammed, tell your bank, credit card companies and the credit reporting bureaus to help protect against fraud.
More from MSN Money:
Confusion over a bill that nobody can understand is a breeding ground for fraud. Companies are having to hire experts to decipher the law and it is still in question. NOBODY really understands it, including the IRS and they are supposed to insure we all follow the rules, which aren't even completed. A 2,000+ page bill has spawned 25,000 pages of rules to date, and it is still growing day by day as bureaucrats continue to decipher what the bill actually means, although nobody actually knows since one section will conflict with another and so it goes.
Socialism. Isn't it grand.
Great Job you bunch of Washington numnuts.
I am sure that once the government starts running health care all of the fraud and abuse will be diligently policed and prosecuted. Just like all of the other well-run government programs.
Can't believe am the 1st person to make a comment.
First of all HATE OBAMA, so if he hadn't pushed this damn bill with his damn name on it...we wouldn't be in this mess!
Second of all, who gives out their bank account # & personal info over the phone? Get real people....don't EVER do this under no circumstances, tell them to send you something in the mail, then do your research. Call a local insurance agency, they will be glad to help you out I am sure.
I hate to hear of people being scammed, but RULE #1-NEVER EVER EVER give personal information like credit cards, bank account # or social security # over the phone.
JUST LIKE WELFARE FOODSTAMPS OH I MEAN SNAP MEDICARE AND S.S. WERE ALL LEFT
WING PROGRAMS TO ENSLAVE PEOPLE TO THE GOVT NOT TO HELP THEM AND IT'S
BECOME THE DEMOCRATS ONLY THING THEY CONTINUE TO PUSH TO BUY VOTES AND
WITH OBAMA IN OFFICE IT'S SKYROCKETED AND THEY ARE PROUD OF THIS! GIVE ME
MY ****ING MONEY THAT I WORK FOR AND I'LL BUY MY OWN HEALTHCARE AND SAVE
MY OWN MONEY FOR MY RETIREMENT! WHO THE **** IS THE GOVT TO TAKE MY MONEY
AND TELL ME WHAT I HAVE TO DO WITH IT???? HOW THE F DID THESE THINGS EVER PASS?
AND NOW WE KNOW OBAMA PELOSI ****ING LIED THERE ARE 'DEATH PANELS''''''!!!!!!!!!!!
IF THIS ISN'T STOPPED IN 2 YEARS ALL YOU OBAMANITES I WANT FREE HEALTHCARE WILL
BE SCREAMING LIKE THE CRY BABIES YOU FING ARE! THERE IS NO FREE HEALTHCARE!
So the person who is paralyzed with $15 million in the bank from a lawsuit that requires 24-7 care now qualifies for "affordable" healthcare? How is this going to drive costs down for the rest of us who are healthy? How is Obamacare not a scam?
i guess that it never occured to some of you that the original intent was to make sure everyone that could not be insured would be insured. Now what we all ended up is a clusterfvck of a law and some of you who managed to fail civics do not realize that the greedy **** senators and congressman added so many riders to the original bill so that it would pass and in actuality made the healthcare situation worst than what it was before. So instead of JUST blaming Obama spread that hate around to your own represenatives who put their greedy little hands in the making/approving of it as well.
Democrats are stupid scum.
Yah, I'm sure there's plenty of room to exploit confusion over this 3000 page monstrosity that the Idiot Party passed in 2010.
meanwhile : Cisco Systems shares dropped one day after the network equipment maker announced it was cutting 4,000 jobs. ??????????????????? the phuckin' HELL you say?????!!!! oh and may I reiterate a very important point, seriously, this is serious now, I'm not kidding now.... YOU IDIOT GUILT-RIDDEN WHITE LIBERAL AND OR INDEPENDENT DCIKWADS WHO VOTED FOR THIS BLACK RACIST BITCH DESERVE EVERYTHING THAT'S COMING!!!! now, where was I, oh yes.....
but, butt, buuuuuuuut obama fixed everything!! he taxed the shyt outta the rich didn't he???? dem rich white folks is shoow nuff hurtin' ain't dey?? obama gave 'em da what fo' didn't he??? the economy is , hehe hehe I'm sorry, the economy is imp...hahahaha!! hahaha! heheh!! oh I'm sorry I just can't say it, much less write it...
but, ok I'm back.....'the economy is improving so Cisco Systems is firing 4,000 people.... ain't IMPROVement grand?? THAT'S FOUR-THOUSAND PEOPLE OUT OF WORK!!!!! 4,000!!!! ANYONE WANT TO BE A MORON AND TELL ME UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS ARE DROPPING NOW!!!
ah ahahahahahah!!hahahahah!! oh you liberal sleaze, you vermin, you Guilt-Ridden obamazombie black-azz kissers, how you feelin' ???? seriously your messiah is a clusterphuck of gargantuan proportions!! I mean do you libs secretly, when no one's listening or seeing you just say to yourselves, 'man I was sooooo wrong in my beliefs, I was....' but you can't bring yourselves to admit it in public, can you....the proof of socialist/liberalism FAILURE is ALL AROUND US! for 5yrs now liberalism is a proven EPIC FAILURE! unfortunately the public is gettin phucked but good, good by libs in 2014, what happened in '10 is nothing to what's gonna happen in '14!
well besides obama UN-affordable health care scam, the BIGGEST ONE! THE!!! biggest obama scam is the fact that, this black muslim divisive race baiting commie pig got elected NOT ONCE, but TWICE!! That's the fckin' scam people! THAT! A HUGE scam on We the People...big time!
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