Identifying and Avoiding Affordable Care Act Scams

Identifying and Avoiding Affordable Care Act Scams

Scam artists are ready to capitalize on ACA confusion.
(CNN) Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act is underway. With it, a lot of confusion on who's eligible, whose options have changed and what they need to do. 

Scam artists are ready to capitalize on that confusion.

President Obama makes it sound simple, "Just visit and there you can compare insurance plans side by side, the same way you'd shop for a plane ticket on Kayak or a TV on Amazon."

But for many Americans it can be confusing. And there's a new wrinkle.

People are believing that the government has shut down," says Carrie Hurt of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. "What do we do? We need to act quickly to get our information. We need to act quickly to take advantage of the care act. What if it goes away? Scammers know that."

Among the most common scams seen by the Council of Better Business Bureaus, phone calls from people claiming to be from the federal government, and claiming they need to verify personal and financial information for affordable care cards. Those cards, of course, don't exist.

Online, the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud warns of fake exchange websites and of phishing.

"Emails that appear to be from your exchange, or some government official," says James Quiggle, a CAIF spokesperson.  "You open them, you click on a link, and that could install malware on your computer, or take you to a bogus exchange site."

Fake sites then snag personal data and financial information like credit card or banking numbers.

Whether the scam arrives at the front door, on the phone, or in an inbox, the Better Business Bureau says, don't let anyone pressure you.

"Look at what your options are," Hurt says. "And make the best decision for you, without being scared or pushed into it through fear by a con artist."

After all, coverage under the exchanges won't begin until January 1st. And enrollment is open until March 31st.
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