Scammers Try to Cash in on Obamacare Confusion - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Scammers Try to Cash in on Obamacare Confusion

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For months, Shannon Able has been going into churches and senior centers to educate people about the Affordable Care Act. That's where he noticed a lot of confusion and misinformation.

He says he was notified by the Better Business Bureau about a new scam wherein scammers are looking to cash in on the confusion of the Affordable Care Act.

It started with emails, but now has spread to scammers posing as government officials calling you at home.

"People are getting ... a phone call saying that they are going to jail if they don't buy into one of these plans or that they need to get their new ... Medicare card," Able said.

Able says no one under any circumstances will be calling about these policies, including social security and Medicare.

"There is nothing with Obamacare that seniors need to do," Able said. "If they get a call at home, it's a scam."

Able says the Affordable Care Act is for people age 64 and under who are not eligible for Medicare. He says the claim of jail time is absurd: the worst penalty for not signing up is a $95 tax or one percent of your yearly earnings.

"We just don't want anybody giving out social security information, credit card, bank account information over the phone," Able said."

Able says to hang up if anyone calls you and says they are a government official or an insurance agent, asks you to "act now," or promises a special deal or to help you avoid paying a penalty. He says they may ask you to sign up for a Medicare advantage plan.

He's working to protect seniors' personal information and says it should only be given out to professionals seniors contact first.