|Published:||Sep 30, 2013 5:37 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Sep 30, 2013 6:52 PM EDT|
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The marketplace for the Affordable Care Act opens on Tuesday. But more than half of Americans say they're not sure what's going to happen.
Con artists are turning confusion into an opportunity to rip you off.
"The scammers are gonna go all after that because they know that there are some people who don't know what Obamacare is, or what they should do," said Beth Schell, a Fraud Specialist with the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
So far, the Federal Trade Commission has received more than a thousand complaints about scammers using the ACA as a way to con people out of their money.
Sometimes, the person on the other end of the phone says you'll go to jail if you don't sign up for Obamacare.
Here are some of the top scams, according to the FTC.
Let's say you receive a phone call and someone offers to help navigate the changes of the Affordable Care Act. Sounds reasonable right? It is, right up until they try to charge you. The federal government gave out $67 million in grants to non-profits to help navigate the changes of the ACA. They're not allowed to charge money for their services.
"If they're telling you you need to pay a fee for their services then you need to hang up," Schell said.
Another common scam involves the fictitious Obamacare card. Someone will call you and say you'll need to buy a new card. That's a scam. There is no such card.
And finally, when someone from the government calls you and starts asking for you social security number and other personal information, that's your sign that they're trying to rip you off.
The FTC says the government will not call you about your health insurance and they won't ask you for your personal information over the phone.
"It really isn't any different from any other scam, it's just a different way to try to get your personal information," Schell said.
If you receive a call from a scammer, hang up and then report them. Call the FTC, the Florida Attorney General's Office or the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.