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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

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For media inquiries only, contact:  Brian J. Gottstein
Email: bgottstein@oag.state.va.us (best contact method)
Phone: 804-786-5874

 

** CONSUMER ALERT **

Cuccinelli warns of scams linked to Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplace rollout

RICHMOND (October 16, 2013) - Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli warned today that in the wake of the October 1st rollout of the health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare), con artists are already scamming consumers with fake web sites and phone calls.

Consumers seeking insurance coverage through the online exchanges (also referred to as health insurance marketplaces) provide personal information to determine which plans are available to them and to sign up for coverage.

“Many citizens are mandated to buy insurance from this federal government-run exchange, and because they have to enter such detailed personal information online, scammers are finding this a target-rich environment to confuse people and steal their information in the process,” said Cuccinelli.  “Scammers are sending out official-looking emails with links that don’t go to the health insurance exchange, but to a bogus web site.  While people think they’re typing in detailed personal information to apply for health insurance, they’re actually giving scammers all the information they need to commit identity theft.”

The attorney general is warning Virginians about some of the possible ways scammers are attempting to commit fraud.  He offers the following tips:

If you believe you have been a victim of a scam, the Office of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection telephone counselors are available to assist you with your consumer questions.  Please call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-552-9963 if calling from Virginia, or 804-786-2042 if calling from the Richmond area.  The Consumer Protection office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.