“It’s enough to make you sick. No sooner had the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act than scam artists began working the phones. Claiming to be from the government, they’re saying 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 you not to 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.