East County Business News by Rick Griffin
If the phone rings and the stranger on the call is trying to sell you an “Obamacare card,” or threatens you with a fine or jail time unless you buy extra medical insurance, then just hang up the phone because it’s likely a scam, advises the San Diego Better Business Bureau (BBB). Unfortunately, the BBB says con men aren’t wasting any time in their attempts to take advantage of widespread confusion over the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
The scamsters, posing as someone from the federal government, will try to steal your Social Security and credit card numbers and other personal information, including Medicare and Medicaid numbers, with the intention of committing identity theft. Sometimes the scammer will say the Obamacare card is free, other times that the cost is only a few dollars and payment is requested with a direct withdrawal using bank account routing numbers or cash through a wire transfer. Later, the victim could discover their bank account is empty.
The BBB said consumers have reported some solicitors have used threatening language, such as, “The government is requiring you to do this or you will lose your health insurance or Social Security benefits.” Other consumers have heard promises about various enticements, including free medical device products, or free medic alert service or be among the first to sign-up in a new prescription drug plan — if they provide their personal information.