Fake ACA Websites Target Consumers for Identity Theft

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Computer hackers are creating phony Affordable Care Act (ACA) websites and are asking for consumers' personal information, such as social security and bank account numbers. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns consumers to never give out personal information on the Internet before confirming that the website is run by the government.

"Since the Affordable Care Act is still new and confusing to some consumers, it is hard for consumers to distinguish reliable versus bogus websites," says Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. "It is important to only trust official legitimate government websites."

Bernas noted that it is tricky to distinguish fake ACA websites from legitimate sites, because in addition to the ACA's official website, there are legitimate sites run by individual states.

"Over 50 million consumers will be eligible for insurance covered by the Affordable Care Act according to government information," he said. "With this huge number, scammers see opportunities. Consumers need to be even more careful to protect their personal information."

The BBB recommends the following these tips to avoid fake Affordable Care Act websites:

* Don't use a Google search for help. Go to the government's official website instead, which can lead you to websites owned by individual state governments. The official website is www.healthcare.gov

* Ignore unsolicited phone calls or emails.If a government official calls or emails asking for your information, don't respond to the email or hang up the phone. The government never solicits consumers for personal information.

* Check for a digital certificate. This is the website's way of proving it is an official ACA website and won't steal your personal information.

For more tips and information about scams, visit www.bbb.org
 

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