Prevent identity theft amid Affordable Care Act confusion: BBB - FOX 35 News Orlando

Prevent identity theft amid Affordable Care Act confusion: BBB`s Steve Bernas

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The countdown is on to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and the scammers are already out trying to take advantage of the confusion surrounding it.

Steve Bernas of the Chicago Better Business Bureau joined FOX 32 News at Noon to share some tips on how you can make sure you don't get ripped off or have your personal information stolen and exploited.

Bernas told FOX 32 that scammers are calling residents, saying they have been chosen to be part of a group to receive insurance cards. They're asking for bank account information and social security numbers in exchange for sending these cards.

"Consumers should ignore these calls because providing information puts you at risk for identity theft," Bernas said.

Scammers – or the people they sell this information to – gain access to your accounts once they have your personal information.

Bernas said it's easy for people to believe that calls like there are legitimate, especially because the health care act makes such big changes, and is coming up so fast (Oct. 1, 2013). But the federal government usually operates via traditional snail mail, not over the phone.

"Consumers need to realize that the government rarely calls individuals," Bernas explained. "If you receive this type of call, hang up."

Here's what the BBB says you should do if a scammer calls you:

  • Hang up the phone. If you get one of these calls, just hang up. You may be tempted to call back, but this will only give the scammer another opportunity to steal your information. Also, be sure not to press any buttons that the scammer instructs.
  • Never give out personal information. Never give out your bank account numbers, date of birth, credit card number or social security number.
  • Don't rely on caller ID. Some scammers are able to display a company's name or phone number on the caller ID screen. Don't trust that the information you see is true.

For more tips and information, visit the Better Business Bureau's website.

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