In just two days the Affordable Care Act goes into effect and criminals are exploiting the online signup process by putting up fake enrollment sites. Due to lack of adequate publicity and education provided by President Obama’s administration the U.S. public is confused about where to go and what to do in order to take part in the affordable Care Act. Cybercriminals are counting on this confusion to victimize people.
The U.S. government’s Health Insurance Exchange go live on October 1st as well. The Exchange is not a single site where people can register for the Affordable Care Act. It is made up of a combination of government and third party sites all offering the same sign up feature. In addition the government does not provide any type of official seal or certification to ensure the organization you are signing up with is legitimate.
Criminals taking advantage of this information have created false signup sites designed, not only to capture all the pertinent information a health insurer would ask (name, address, phone number, date of birth, social security number, etc.), but the same sites are also designed to spread malware. You are now conned into surrendering your personal information, and receiving malicious software on your computer; a real double whammy.
Here are some sure fire ways to avoid being a victim:
- Use your state government’s website to sign up
- Sign up at the federal government’s website Healthcare.gov
- Call your auto insurance agent or an insurance company for a site
- DO NOT USE A SEARCH ENGINE
Whatever your opinions on any government program, in order to protect the general public from criminals, it is clear that there must be a certification and approval process for any organization claiming to collect information for the government. The government protects the public from fraudulent business all the time, They do it by licensing contractors, doctors, nurses, vehicle smog/safety mechanics, restaurants, attorneys, and more. Even census takers have an ID card.
Third party sites collecting information for the government should have to go through an auditing process to ensure they are not criminals. When a you go to a website you should be able to view a seal on that site saying the federal or state government certifies the safety of the information you are about to provide.