The Federal Trade Commission announced this morning that they will be issuing 412 refund checks amounting to over $700,000 to people who were scammed into purchasing fake health insurance. The victims of this scam were contacted by phone from a company called United States Benefits LLC, tricking them into buying a discounted medical plan that consumers were led to believe was an actual health insurance policy.
Apparently victims in the state of Tennessee were the target of a deceptive marketing plan that used illegal robo-calls made to consumers on the Do Not Call registry. If you or a loved one is a victim of this health insurance scam, to find out information about your refund, visit www.FTC.gov/refunds. If you have questions and would like to call directly, you can reach Gilardi & Co. the refund administrator at 1888-214-0638.
Unfortunately anytime an un-reputable organization or entity obtains your personal information, you are at risk. It is so important for you to do your research before signing up for any service, both off and online.
In reality, identity theft victims are often the ones who fall for a wide variety of scams. To help guard your identity and protect yourself from similiar health insurance scams, the FTC recommends the following tips:
- Never believe health insurance plans offering either a no waiting period or no deductible because it may be fraud.
- Be sure to request written information about the plan before you sign up.
- Research the name of the company by doing a Google or Yelp search to see what other people have to say.
- Learn the difference between a discounted health plan and an actual insurance policy by visiting the FTC at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0165-discount-plan-or-health-insurance
Sadly fraud and identity theft often go hand in hand, so it is extremely important to be aware of the many different scams used to steal not just your money, but your identity. If you are resident of Santa Ana or anywhere else in California, to check the status of an insurance company visit, http://interactive.web.insurance.ca.gov/webuser/licw_name_search$.startup
When it comes to protecting your identity, the more you know the better off you are. If you have been approached by a company offering you a discounted medical plan and you live in Santa Ana be sure to check with a local health insurance agent to ask if they have heard of the plan you were offered. If you feel you have been a victim of identity theft and you live in Santa Ana, contact the Santa Ana Police Department at http://www.ci.santa-ana.ca.us/pd/economiccrimes.asp
As always thank you so much for visiting today. If you have a comment or any advice you would like to make please do so below; and don’t forget to subscribe for the latest updates on fraud and protecting your identity.
FTC (2013, May 23) FTC returns more than 700,000 to victims of operation that allegedly sold bogus health insurance Federal Trade Commission. Retrieved from http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2013/05/usbenefits.shtm