HEALTH

Obamacare scam artists already targeting confused health care customers

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(CNN) - Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act is underway, and for many people who are trying to get covered, there's much confusion as to who's eligible, which options have changed and what people need to do to obtain health insurance.

Unfortunately, scam artists have already pounced on that confusion.

President Barack Obama, who championed the Affordable Care Act in 2010 as the signature legislation of his presidency thus far, makes it sound so simple - visit healthcare.gov, compare insurance plans side by side and purchase the one that best fits you.

However, for the most susceptible to fraud in the marketplace, that task is not so simple.

"People are believing that the government has shut down. What do we do?" Carrie Hurt, the CEO and President of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, says. "We need to act quickly to take advantage of the Care Act. What if it goes away? Scammers know that."

Among the most common scams seen by the BBB include phone calls from people claiming to be from the government who say they need to verify their personal and financial information before obtaining "affordable care cards".

Those cards, of course, don't exist.

Officials are also warning consumers about fake websites that phish sensitive data, including emails from people who appear to be your contacts or government officials.

Those fake sites then snag your personal data and financial information, which includes credit card or bank account numbers.

"You open them, you click on a link, and that could install malware on your computer or take you to a bogus exchange site," Coalition Against Insurance Fraud spokesman James Quiggle said.

Authorities say that regardless of how scammers get to you, keep them from pressuring you into a decision you don't want to make - one that could hurt you personally and financially.

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