'Obamacare insurance card' scam targets seniors - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

'Obamacare insurance card' scam targets seniors

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The Better Business Bureau is warning seniors about a new scam that's picking up in popularity as open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act begins.

Identity thieves are calling up seniors and telling them they need an Obamacare insurance card.

Joanne Mathis got a phone call Wednesday from a man trying to sell her a medical device over the phone. She became suspicious when she couldn't find any information online about his company.

"I'm always wary when someone calls me trying to sell something," Mathis said.

What the caller didn't know was that Mathis is a senior advocate in AARP's state legislative office, so she knew exactly what to do.

"I realized pretty quickly that it was probably a scam. So, by the time he got to the point where he was asking for a credit card number, I told him, 'No thank you. I wasn't interested,'" she said.

With open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act beginning next week, thieves are now posing as federal employees and calling seniors about Obamacare.

"Now with our elders, they tell them, you know, you need a new Medicare card. And so with that information they then say, 'If you can give me your Social Security number, we can make arrangements to send this card to you,'" said Metro Atlanta Better Business Bureau President Fred Elsberry.

Elsberry says seniors don't have to do anything under the Affordable Care Act because their Medicare coverage is protected. He also said that the federal government doesn't do business on the phone.

"They're going to communicate with you by mail. So, that's kind of the first key. When you get one of these calls, it is definitely a scam and you should immediately hang up on them," Elsberry said.

If you have questions about the Affordable Care Act and the open enrollment period that begins on Oct. 1, visit: healthcare.gov.

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