The Oklahoma Insurance Commission sent out a warning about a scam going around the country. While seniors have been the main target, the commission warned that anyone could fall for this one because of a new twist.
The scam has been centered around the Affordable Care Act, because many people just have not understood the law's complexities and the scammers have been taking advantage.
The more than 600,000 Oklahomans who receive Medicare have been targeted, and according to the commission, people have been falling for the scam.
"They're saying now as a result of the affordable care act, we're going to send you a new medical card and it's a national medical card and we need your identification number, your social security number and some of them even go so far as to ask for their bank routing number," explained Ray Walker with the Oklahoma Insurance Commission's Medicare Assistance Program. "The calls are incredibly believable."
Walker and others said there is no such thing as a national medical card. He added that the Affordable Care Act is so new and so confusing for that the likelihood of falling for this scam is greater than some of the classic phone scams.
"All you have to have is a little information about the affordable care act, you can even use information you hear in the press, to try and come up with a scam that sounds believable and then put that to people on the telephone," Walker said.
It has been almost impossible for victims to recover what they lost, because tracking down the people committing the crimes has been difficult since the instances happened over the phone.
"It can be very detrimental," said Walker. "Most of them are on a very fixed income, they don't have a lot of resources and to lose those resources can be a life changing experience."
The bottom line, Walker explained, is if someone you do know is on the phone asking for any personal information, just hang up. You don't owe them an explanation.
If you have been scammed or suspect one of the scammers has contacted you, call 1-888-763-2828 to report it to the Medicare Assistance Program.