According to the FTC, no sooner had the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the health legislation than scam artists began working the phones. Claiming to be from the government, the scammers say that under the Affordable Care Act, they need to verify some information.
For example, they might have the routing number of the person’s bank, and then use that information to get the person to reveal the entire account number. Other times, they have asked for credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, Medicare ID, or other personal information.
The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, cautions the public to not give out personal or financial information in response to unsolicited phone calls, emails, or knocks on your door. Scam artists want your information to commit identity theft; charge your existing credit cards; debit your checking account; open new credit card, checking or savings accounts; write fraudulent
Checks; or take out loans in your name.
- If you get a call from someone who claims to be from the government and who asks for your personal information, hang up. It’s a scam. The government and legitimate organizations with which you do business have the information they need and will not ask you for it.
- Then, file a complaint at ftc.gov or call toll-free 1-877-FTC-HELP. If you think your identity’s been stolen, visit ftc.gov/idtheft or call 1-877-ID-THEFT.You also can file a complaint with your state Attorney General.
The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free 1-877-FTC-HELP(1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. Watch a new video, How to File a Complaint, atftc.gov/video to learn more.
The FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
For additional information, call SHIP at the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities at 410-222-4464.