November 24, 2014
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Scammers target health care confusion for fraud

Attorney General Kilmartin is warning Rhode Islanders of a new scam that puts people at risk for identity theft and Medicare fraud that is sweeping the nation since the United States Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has received numerous complaints from across the country from people who have received phone calls from individuals claiming to be from the federal government who need to “verify information” under the Affordable Care Act, including Social Security numbers, Medicare ID and other personal information.

AG Kilmartin reminds consumers not to give out personal or financial information in response to unsolicited phone calls, emails or knocks on your door. Scam artists want your information to commit identity theft, charge your existing credit cards, debit your checking account, open a new credit card, checking or savings accounts, write fraudulent checks or take out loans in your name.

“Scam artists can’t pass up an opportunity to defraud and steal from hard working Americans,” said Kilmartin. “If someone who claims to be from the government calls and asks for your personal information, hang up. It's a scam. The government and legitimate organizations you do business with already have the information they need and will not ask you for it.”

If you have received one of these unsolicited phone calls or requests, file a complaint at ftc.gov or call 1-877-FTC-HELP. If you believe you are a victim of consumer fraud, contact the Consumer Protection Unit of the Office of the Rhode Island Attorney General at 274-4400. You can download a consumer complaint by visiting the website at www.riag.ri.gov and email at contactus.riag.ri.gov.


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