The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has opened the door to many online and telephone scams. Nearly every day a new report surfaces about these scams driven by a government program many do not understand. On Nov. 26, WHAM-TV, a Rochester, NY ABC affiliate, reported the following:
“Alexis Young thought she was lucky and had received the call that would provide something she and her son needed, insurance. The friendly caller reached Young on October 16th and provided their sales pitch.
‘That they was from a financial council for Obama and he only selected a few people,’ said Young.”
These types of calls are scams, pure and simple. The callers claim that if you pay a certain amount of money, in this case it was $150, you will receive insurance coverage. Callers will typically demand that the funds are paid in MoneyPak Green Dot cards, which makes it impossible to recover the money later on.
WHAM-TV checked with the police to see if similar scams had been perpetrated in the area and were told there were none. However, WHAM-TV received a different story when Better Business Bureau (BBB) spokesperson Peggy Penders said, “In Alexis’ case, the scammers actually used a very official sounding organization that wasn’t connected to Affordable Health Care at all, and they were using a website that was legitimate.”
Tips to avoid a scam
- If you receive a telephone call from anyone offering insurance under the Affordable Care Act, hang up.
- The name “Obamacare” is not the name of the program. Beware of anyone who refers to the Affordable Care Act as “Obamacare” if they are offering you insurance or information about the program.
- If you are ever asked to send money via MoneyPak Green Dot cards, do not do it
The Better Business Bureau website at www.bbb.org can be used to check out businesses, service providers, and charities.