Scammers use Affordable Care Act to fool victims - CBS 5 - KPHO

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Scammers use Affordable Care Act to fool victims

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(CBS 5 News) (CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act begins on Oct. 1 and at the new health insurance marketplaces, call centers are open to help consumers understand what the act means for them.

However, criminals, scammers and con artists are going to work, calling victims and posing as a government representative so they can rip you off.

The Better Business Bureau is receiving complaints about these calls, sometimes resulting in identity theft.

"[They are] opening up credit card numbers, credit card information in their name, just really taking advantage of their identity," the BBB's Felicia Thompson said.

According to the BBB, these criminals are taking advantage of the complexity of the Affordable Care Act and the act is convincing.

"Stating [you] would receive a medical insurance card early and all they need to do is provide their social security number or their bank account information," Thompson said. "Of course, once you have those pieces of information, that's the baseline to opening up the world."

The medical insurance card is nothing more than a ploy.

"They don't exist," Thompson said.

Once they have your personal information, scammers can then steal your identity to access your bank accounts or sell your information to someone else, but there are ways to identify these people.

Firstly, the BBB says government agencies rarely call. Their preferred method of communication is by mail.  

Secondly, the BBB suggests never giving out personal information like bank account numbers or social security numbers to unsolicited callers. 

Also, don't always trust your caller ID either. The BBB has reports of scams so convincing they even rigged the caller ID to say something like, "Federal Government" or "The White House." Just because it's convincing doesn't mean they are who they say they are.

For more on this story and other stories around Arizona from this author, follow Shawn Kline on Facebook and Twitter.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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