NewsCovering Colorado


Pueblo West woman shares experience with health insurance imposter call

Experts say fraudsters are making this calls at a rapid pace this time of year
Pueblo West woman on her phone
Posted at 4:14 AM, Dec 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-08 08:55:39-05

PUEBLO WEST, Colo. — This time of year, people have an opportunity to make major healthcare decisions during open enrollment when they decide what their insurance coverage will look like going forward.

Unfortunately, fraudsters are looking to get involved. News5 shares an example from right here in southern Colorado.

When it comes to looking at health insurance options, the process can be complex and even overwhelming, so if someone calls or emails you randomly to tell you about a discount or that your benefits are going to run out, it’s likely a fraudster.

A family in Pueblo West reached out to News5 about their experience, saying when it comes to health insurance, you’ll want to make sure you go straight to a trusted source first.

”When he called, he said this is Kaiser, and this is Keith from Kaiser, so I thought it was,” Shirley told News5.

She says she was waiting on a call to figure out her health insurance benefits, but it turns out this call was nothing but trouble.

”They also lied to me and said that I was going to get a better cost on all of my new policy information,” said Shirley.

Thinking she was talking to her actual health insurance provider, she spent a long time on the phone with people she didn’t know. During that time, she admits to giving up sensitive information and medical details.

”He transferred me to one of his secretaries and she took down the same information,” said Shirley.

Eventually, she felt something was off and called her health insurance provider directly to get some answers.

”I called Kaiser and they figured it out,” said Shirley. “They said that number that you gave us that they gave you and that name is a fraud.”

”In November and December, they really do a full court press here,” said CSU Global’s “Dr. Fraud” J. Michael Skiba.

He says these calls are happening a lot right now and fraudsters have plans for the sensitive information they’re after.

”They are going to try to make you make a quick decision to engage with them on releasing information,” said Skiba. “So what are they looking for? They are looking for tidbits of information on you. They are looking for names, addresses, doctor information, prescription information, and medical treatment information. They can actually use it for other identity theft purposes such as filing for benefits in your name.”

Shirley shared her experience with her daughter Natalie who is helping her keep an eye on accounts and the potential for identity theft. Natalie says her mom did the right thing asking for help.

”Don’t be afraid to talk to your friends and you don’t want to say anything because you feel shameful and you feel hurt, but don’t feel that way it happens to everybody,” Natalie said.

”I’m doing this so it may help other people realize they are very vulnerable this time of the year and to be careful,” said Shirley.

Here are some red flags to look for from the Federal Trade Commission to help you know when to hang up when someone calls about health insurance.

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