In Our View: Be on Guard

Consumers should be aware of scams related to Obamacare

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Where there is opportunity, there are bound to be opportunists, and the coming implementation of the Affordable Care Act is providing plenty of opportunity. The Federal Trade Commission and other watchdog organizations are warning consumers about scams designed to prey on people as Obamacare takes shape.

Among the ploys:

• Somebody calls and offers to help a consumer navigate new health care plans — for a fee. Official helpers are not allowed to charge consumers.

• A scammer tells a victim that they will need a new Medicare card in order to maintain their coverage, and asks for personal information. The ACA does not require new Medicare cards.

• An imposter will call or e-mail claiming to be a government official who wants to talk about health insurance, asking you to verify your Social Security number or bank information.

Scam artists looking to prey on the ill-informed is not unique to Obamacare, and consumers never should reveal their personal information. Even to somebody who claims in an e-mail to be a Somalian prince.

For information on changes to health care in Washington, visit http://www.wahbexchange.org/ or call 1-855-923-4633. To report suspected fraud related to Obamacare, call 1-800-218-2596.