WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- As if the Affordable Care Act didn't have enough problems, now scammers are capitalizing on the confusion, preying on people, and stealing their identities.
It could start with a phone call or a knock at the door.
The people most likely to be a target? Those age 55 and up.
We called Jim Quiggle of the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud for advice. "They can clean you out financially and leave you with nothing. So these are very dangerous scams if you fall for them."
And if you doubt, even for a second how serious this is, Quiggle points out this, "If a crook steals your medical identity...their blood type could end up on your records, you roll into the emergency room semi-conscious, you get the wrong blood type, this is life and death."
Here are three ways Quiggle says these criminals are reaching out.
"Crooks are calling people and saying 'hey you're supposed to register for the Affordable Care Act. All we need to do now is to give me a credit card number, give me your bank account number, routing number and we'll sign you up and you're good to go.'"
The second way is through seemingly credible-looking healthcare websites. They even use the word 'exchange' in the URL. Quiggle explains, "They look like an exchange site, they act and they feel like one. They use the word exchange in them but they're not exchange-related. They're somebody's private site that's trying to gather information on you."
Lastly, there's the old knock on the door. Quiggle says 'There are shady navigators now that are beginning to hit the streets. People are showing up and they're trying to charge you money...to help you enroll in these health programs."