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Arizona officials warn of con artists latching onto Affordable Care

PHOENIX — Scammers have wasted no time in trying to take advantage of consumers who may not be informed about the Affordable Care Act, warned Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne on Friday.

Several reports of fake websites and attempts to steal consumer’s personal information have been reported across the country, but none yet Arizona, Horne said.

“We do have reports of people engaging in fraud by trying to sell cards for Obamacare, which doesn’t really exist,” Horne said.

The idea behind the scam is to gather people’s personal information such as Social Security Numbers and date of birth in order to eventually try to steal money.

To avoid becoming a victim, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office has outlined three important things to know:

• Seniors who receive Medicare are not affected by Obamacare and do not need to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

• Never pay for help. Legitimate organizations do not charge to help people navigate the marketplace. In Arizona, four groups have received grants to provide “navigators,” who can answer questions and help prepare applications. Arizona Association of Community Health Centers, Greater Phoenix Urban League, the University of Arizona’s Center for Rural Health, and Campesinos Sin Fronteras.

• Protect your personal information. Don’t give out your Social Security Number, financial information or date of birth.

To learn more about the marketplace options, go to the federal government’s official website, or call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY 1-855-889-4325).

To report scams, go to the state attorney general’s website.

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