Iowans are being warned about a scam involving the federal government’s Affordable Care Act, a large portion of which will launch next week. Con artists are calling homes, saying they’re ready to send your Obamacare card, all they need is your personal information. Kimberly Hazen, with the Better Business Bureau, says these are the latest in the long-running string of health care “phishing” scams. “Just like we get these bogus emails from our so-called credit card company, asking for our credit card account, that’s a phishing attempt,” Hazen says. “They’re trying to get personal information from you willingly by posing as somebody official.”
Callers may claim they need your Medicare, banking or personal information to get you your coverage. Hazen says it’s highly unlikely Medicare or anyone from the federal government is really calling you. “Remember that the government rarely gives us a call,” Hazen says. “They rarely will email us. They do most of their work through the mail, so when you get a call from somebody saying they’re with the government, do your homework and make sure you know exactly who you’re dealing with.” Hazen says the best response to these calls is to hang up, or to make some calls yourself to learn more.
“Find out what agency they’re calling from and actually get that agency number, look it up on your own via the internet or any government office in the phone book,” Hazen says. “You want to make sure that you are calling them back on your own.” If you repeatedly get these calls, contact your local authorities or contact the Better Business Bureau via www.bbb.org.