Look out for Obamacare scams

9:08 AM, Sep 12, 2013   |    comments
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(WUSA9) -- It's happening more and more.  Scammers are using misinformation about Obamacare to try to rip you off. 

Kimberly Lankford from Kiplinger shared some of the red flags to look out for in this scam (see the video above).

In this case scammers are targeting seniors. 

"The Affordable Care Act does little this year to change anything for Medicare beneficiaries. The donut hole for prescription drug coverage is closing but that's about it.

"But there are people making these calls and telling seniors that because of Obamacare they have to get a new Medicare care and can they provide personal information so they can send it to them. And this is a scam. Medicare is not going to call you. If they do need to reach you for something, they're going to send you a letter just like the I.R.S. does.

"But so many seniors are just afraid. They don't know that they don't need to do anything ... many states have gotten calls about this pretty much every day. The Federal Trade Commission is on it.

"If you have a question about anything like this, call 1-800- Medicare. Check anything out. But just know that they will not be calling you about this," said Lankford.

The other scam that we heard about are fake navigators and exchange sites that are out there just basically looking to rip you off.

"The thing is that all of the states, they're going to be having people who are going to be helping people sign up for health insurance. So a good thing. On the flip side, though, people are taking advantage of this and calling people up now even before the exchanges open on October 1 and saying 'you need to have health insurance, give me your credit card number, we'll provide you with a policy.' This is not correct.

"Go to healthcare.gov to get contact information for your state navigators and all of the people who are going to be helping you. In Maryland they've been doing a lot of outreach already. A lot of the state and local health departments are involved. So find out from the state the accurate people to talk with instead of these random people calling up tries to get your credit card information," explained Lankford.

Some general red flags that should sound alarm bells in your head asking for credit card information?

"Asking for credit card information, social security number, bank information. Those are all things that the people have done when they've been trying to get the social security cards or when they say that you have to get a new Medicare card. When they start to ask things that just doesn't seem to add up and especially if they call you out of the blue. None of these people are going to be calling you out of the blue. When you need to seek help, go to medicare.gov or healthcare.gov, go to your state health insurance department," advised Lankford.

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