Alaska, Tenn. Warn of Obamacare Scams

by Sterling Beard

Scams involving Obamacare have caused Tennessee and Alaska to issue warnings to their residents, urging them not to give out personal information to scammers.

Tennessee’s Department of Commerce and Insurance (DCI) has warned residents of a number of different techniques scammers could use, including falsely telling listeners they could go to jail for not carrying health insurance or falsely claiming that they are Obamacare navigators and that there is a fee for their services. The scammers may also try to dupe the elderly into believing that they must purchase a different kind of health insurance.

“It’s the same old routine as other telemarketing scams, it is just in a different costume,” Kate Abernathy, a spokeswoman for the DCI, told the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Abernathy said the department is also on the lookout for other scams involving Obamacare, including fake websites and phone calls involving nonexistent “Obamacare insurance cards.”

Alaska is having problems with a similar scam that is apparently targeting Medicare beneficiaries. The Alaskan Department of Law’s Consumer Protection Unit has issued a consumer alert about fraudsters contacting beneficiaries and claiming that they will need new Medicare cards because of Obamacare.

The alert warns that scammers are allegedly “using harassment, abusive conduct, and false threats to cut off Medicare benefits.”

Davyn Williams, the consumer protection unit’s assistant attorney general, told the Alaska Dispatch that “these scams kind of go in waves,” and that it was unclear how many parties were carrying the scam out. 

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