Nessel warns of continued COVID-19 scams

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Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is reissuing a consumer alert in partnership with the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS), warning Michiganders to beware of healthcare scammers – this time claiming to be a representative of the US Department of Health Insurance Plans for Citizens offering discounted health insurance plans.

Last month, Nessel warned of crooks claiming to be from state or local health departments as well as vaccination clinics, asking for personal information.

“Bad actors continue to profit from this pandemic in any way they can,” Nessel said. “Beware of unsolicited calls claiming to be from state, local, or federal health services offering discounted health insurance. The latest scam uses President Biden’s new health policy in an attempt to obtain your personal information like a social security number or medicare number.

If you get an unsolicited call from someone saying they represent a local, state, or federal agency, be skeptical and trust your instincts.

Hang up if they claim to be from a government agency and:

  • re-enroll in a medical plan by requesting your current insurance information;
  • make threats (such as that your current coverage will be canceled) or rush to make a decision; Where
  • attempt to obtain your banking information.

These types of scams often contact residents through an automated call. Since many reputable companies use telemarketing to conduct their business with the help of live call telemarketers or automated calling, criminals will also use this method for the purpose of stealing personal or banking information.

You can learn more about warning signs with the Attorney General’s Consumer Alert on Robotic Calls.

DIFS regulates the insurance and financial services industries in Michigan and operates the Fraud Investigation Unit (FIU) dedicated to preventing criminal and fraudulent activity in the insurance and financial services markets. Consumers can report suspected insurance fraud, including suspected health insurance scams, to the FIU on the DIFS website.

“Marketplace’s current special registration period, which is open until August 15, is an important opportunity for Michiganders to get comprehensive and affordable health insurance, but criminals are stepping up their efforts to confuse and scam them. consumers, ”said Anita Fox, director of DIFS. “It’s critical that Michiganders get the health information and coverage they need while protecting themselves against fraud and identity theft. Always verify the identity and legitimacy of a caller and never give out your personal information over the phone.

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, if you are concerned that a call from a local health department may be a scam, write down the name and number of the person who called you, then contact your local health department. . to confirm the legitimacy of the call.

Regarding COVID-related messages, calls from the state’s contact tracing team will come from 866-806-3447 or MI COVID HELP.

During a legitimate contact tracing or investigation of a COVID-19 case, health services will ask you questions about your health and ask you to verify your date of birth or address. They will also ask questions about and / or encourage vaccination, if you are not vaccinated. They will never ask you for social security numbers, payment numbers such as bank or credit card information, or your immigration status.

DIFS can help consumers with health insurance questions and complaints and can provide information about the Medicare Market’s special registration period which is now open until August 15. Health Insurance webpage or call 877-999-6442 Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Ministry of the Attorney General provides a library of resources that consumers can consult at any time.

Your connection to consumer protection is just a click or a phone call away. Consumer complaints can be filed online at the Attorney General’s website or by calling 877 765-8388.

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