CHARLESTON - State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey warned consumers on July 16 about schemes attempting to use people's confusion about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to obtain personal information.

Scammers are posing as officials from Medicare, other government agencies and insurance providers in an effort to trick West Virginians into providing personal information, including financial information. The scams may involve a phone call, unsolicited mail and individuals going door-to-door in neighborhoods, he said.

“These scammers are telling people that they need to provide private information — such as credit card numbers, Social Security numbers and other personal data — so that they can continue to have health care coverage,” Morrisey said.

“If someone calls you out of the blue seeking personal information or to offer you an Obamacare card, hang up. This is a scam.”

The Federal Trade Commission issued an alert earlier in 2013 about a scam in which a person pretending to be a government official calls individuals about sending out new national medical cards. The caller requests information from the consumer, including name, address, phone number and bank account number.

In another scam, callers posed as Medicare employees requesting information to make sure the individual maintained his or her eligibility. Other scams may involve the sale of poor or nonexistent healthcare coverage.

“People who get questionable correspondences should never provide personal information over the Internet or phone,” Morrisey said.

“If you get a call, ask for the caller’s name and number, and if you have access to caller ID, write down that number as well. Or simply hang up. With the October deadline for health-care exchanges nearing and so many people still confused about all that Obamacare entails, scammers are finding new ways to try to exploit others and drain their bank accounts or steal their identities. Because of that, we must always be on guard.”

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