FTC Scam Alert – Phony calls about health insurance

February 18, 2016
by Bridget Small

Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Robocalls can be more annoying than a lingering head cold. Recently, some people got robocalls that seemed to be about health insurance and the Health Insurance Marketplace, but the calls were a con. The callers were phishing for personal information. People who work in the Marketplace don’t make cold calls, and they never ask for personal information. If you get a call like this, hang up.

The phone numbers showed up with a local area code. The recorded message sounded urgent: “You need to buy health insurance or face a fine. To learn more, press 1.” A person who works in the Health Insurance Marketplace got the call and knew it was fishy, so she pressed 1. The operator claimed to ‘work with the law,’ and asked for the person’s full name, date of birth, phone number, income information and Social Security number. The person who got the call knew it was nonsense, so she hung up and contacted the FTC.

If you get a recorded sales call, but you didn’t give the caller written permission to call you, the call is illegal. Don’t press 1 to speak to the operator or get your name taken off the list, and don’t give any personal information. If you respond, you’ll probably get more calls. If you want information about health insurance in your state, visit HealthCare.gov. If you get a call like this, please report it to the FTC.

If you gave out sensitive information – like your Social Security number – to a caller, and you think it might have been a scam, read what to do if information is lost or exposed.

Original source: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/phony-calls-about-health-insurance?utm_source=govdelivery