No sooner had the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act than scam artists began working the phones. The scam works as follows: Claiming to be from the government, scam artists tell listeners 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, has again issued a warning not to give out personal or financial information in response to unsolicited phone calls, emails, or knocks on your door. 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 1-877-FTC-HELP. If you think your identity has been stolen, visit ftc.gov/idtheft or call 1-877-ID-THEFT. You also can file a complaint with your state Attorney General.
(Reprinted from NAELA e-Bulletin 7/18/12.)