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Scammers using Obamacare to rip off consumers

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The only government-sanctioned website is Healthcare.gov. The only government-sanctioned website is Healthcare.gov.

Consumer protection advocates in the Triangle are saying the rollout of the Affordable Care Act has scammers using a variety of techniques to steal personal information and money.

The North Carolina Public Interest Research Group set up on the Brickyard at North Carolina State University to educate students about the Affordable Care Act. But the group said students are not the only ones who need help.

"There's been so much confusion and misinformation about the Affordable Care Act and about the website. So, people are kind of confused and scared off," said Kalila Zunes-Wolfe with NCPIRG.

Issues with the government's website has helped fuel con artists to contact victims in many forms -- e-mails, phone calls, fake websites, and even in person.

Toby Barfield, president of the Better Business Bureau of Eastern N.C. said the most prevalent scheme involves phone calls. Many of those phone calls are from outside of the country.

"It's all over the United States," Barfield said. "There's a good chance that people with listed numbers or unlisted numbers will be getting these calls."

The scammers are using caller ID's that appear to be official.

 "They can buy fake caller ID numbers, so my phone number, your phone number, the White House telephone number can appear on your caller ID," Barfield said. "In fact, it happened to me."

Dozens of fake websites are popping up across the internet but the only government-sanctioned website is Healthcare.gov.

Barfield said the federal government will never contact you by phone or email.

The scams have become so prevalent, Barfield believes they will be the number one topic at the national Better Business Bureau conference later this week.


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