As Obamacare approaches, swindlers take notice

WASHINGTON – Swindlers are busy peddling phony Obamacare insurance.

“At least half the states have seen these scams and there may be a lot more,” says James Quiggle, spokesman for the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.

But Vivian Laxton, spokeswoman for the Maryland Insurance Administration, says her office has had no consumer complaints so far about such scams.

The new Patient Care and Affordable Care Act promises to bring enormous change to health care in the nation and much has been said and written about the complexity of the law.

“Confusion is a scammer’s best friend,” Quiggle says.

Scammers are exploiting people’s confusion over the vast and complex law to steal people’s identities.

“These Obamacare scams are almost universally identity theft. They ask for your personal financial information, such as your social security number, your bank account number, your credit card number,” Quiggle says.

Scams could come in email, by phone or in person.

“Scams come in many flavors, but typically somebody will knock on your door or telephone you,” Quiggle says.

Come Oct. 1, when official government navigators begin signing up Americans for the new health care program and when state insurance exchanges open online, Quiggle expects the scams to increase.

“Oct. 1 open enrollment period, I think, is almost open season for scammers,” Quiggle says.

“This is a perfect storm for fake navigators and other crooks to try to steal people’s identities and sell them fake insurance,” Quiggle says.

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