insurance

'Obama-snares': 4 bad health care reform scams

How not to be a sucker
How not to be a sucker © wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.com

What's the best way to avoid becoming a victim of an Obamacare scam?

Learn about the law. Log on to HealthCare.gov. The federal consumer site includes the most comprehensive, up-to-date information about health care reform, translated into everyday English and Spanish.

Beware of unsolicited inquiries. "If you didn't request it, that alone is cause to be suspicious," says Funk.

Don't fall for the familiar. "Fraudsters will take a popular name of an insurance company and just twist it a tiny bit," says Lockhart. "We broke up one that was calling itself Old Reliance. Well, 'reliance' is a term that's in probably 25 to 30 insurance company names."

Recognize "hard sell" tactics. Beware of policy offers that are time-sensitive ("Act by this deadline!") or space-sensitive ("Just three more webinar spaces available!"). "Scammers often try to hurry your decision," says Funk.

Verify, verify, verify. Never respond to an unsolicited inquiry until you verify the identity of the inquiring party through your state department of insurance.

Guard your personal information. "Never give out your Social Security, Medicare or bank account numbers in response to any unsolicited contact, whether it's a phone call, somebody at the door, direct mail or email," says Funk.

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