Nashville, TN – It’s that time of year again when open enrollment is available for health care plans through Medicare.gov, Healthcare.gov, and many employers. Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of this opportunity to confuse and mislead victims.
This holiday shopping season, BBB Scam Tracker has received numerous reports about shipping tricks that scammers use to steal from online shoppers. The con artists are exploiting PayPal’s policies by delivering incorrect items and using stolen tracking numbers.
How the Scam Works
All you have to do is download a form or click a link to read the details. However, if you do so, you may be asked to share personal information, or you could even download malware onto your computer. Business email compromise scams like this have become increasingly common and sophisticated.
That’s not the only way con artists are taking advantage of open enrollment season. BBB Scam Tracker has gotten many reports about scammers claiming to be a government representative who can help you navigate your Medicare or Affordable Care Act enrollment.
Scammers claim to be a “health care benefits advocate” or a similar title. These scammers allege they can enroll you in a better program than what you currently have. This new plan is cheaper, and you can keep all the same services.
To get started, all you need to do is provide some personal information, such as your Medicare ID number. Of course, the call is a scam, and sharing personal information will open you up to identity theft.
Read about more open enrollment scams on BBB.org.
How to avoid open enrollment scams:
- Be wary of anyone who contacts you unsolicited. Healthcare.gov and Medicare do provide legitimate help with figuring out which plan is right for you. These people — sometimes called Navigators or Assisters — are not allowed to charge for their help. If someone asks you for payment, it’s a scam. You will also need to contact them. They will not call you out-of-the-blue.
- Guard your government-issued numbers. Never offer your Medicare ID number, Social Security number, health plan info, or banking information to anyone you don’t know.
- Go directly to official websites. If you want to make changes to your health care plan, go directly to Medicare.gov, Healthcare.gov, or your employer’s health insurance provider. Don’t click on links in suspicious messages.
- Suspicious email from HR? Contact your employer. If you receive an unexpected email about benefits policies, ask your employer about it before you click on anything to make sure it’s legitimate.
- Get more tips in the full BBB Scam Alert.
For More Information
Get more tips from BBB on avoiding health care scams. If you’ve spotted a scam (whether or not you’ve lost money), report it to BBB.org/ScamTracker. Your report can help others avoid falling victim to scams.
Find more information about scams and how to avoid them at BBB.org/AvoidScams.