12 On Your Side: News 12 employee targeted by health care phone scam

By: Jerome Collins Email
By: Jerome Collins Email


News 12 at 6 o'clock / October, 3 2013

"Most of the time if I don't recognize a number I won't answer it," says Sam Richardson, News 12's media manager. But this time, he says he picked up anyway. "Gentleman told me that he represented a new company that had just been given approval in Georgia to offer insurance," says Richardson.

He says the caller claimed he could accept health insurance applications under the new Affordable Care Act which launched on Monday. "He asked me how much my premium was, what my deductible was," says Richardson.

He says what the caller told him next sounded pretty hard to believe.
"Under their program I would have no deductible and that he could lower my payments down to like $70 a month," says Richardson.

The Better Business Bureau says the scam is playing on all the confusion surrounding the Affordable Care Act. It also says whenever a new federal program or policy is implemented, con artists try to take advantage.

Even South Carolina's attorney general Alan Wilson is urging folks to be leery of unsolicited phone calls concerning the new health care program. "It is a con man's all you can eat buffet," says Richardson.

As for Richardson, he says it is true that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." None of it made any sense like no deductible and I'm going to give you this fantastic rate for somebody my age I wouldn't have fallen for that at all," says Richardson.

We called the number back and no one picked up, but the voice recording mentioned an opportunity to win a $100 Walmart gift card.

So, if you get an unsolicited phone call and someone is trying to get personal information, just hang up.

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