The Better Business Bureau is warning people of a new identity theft scam.
“Basically, this is a form of identity theft," said BBB Northeast Fla. President Tom Stephens. They're calling people and telling them that they need to register and get their new Obamacare card. They start asking them personal questions for personal information. Their social security number and even as far as bank account information,"
Stephens said the scammers randomly look up phone numbers and pretend to be someone from the federal government. Stephens said that should act as a big red flag for consumers, because the federal government never calls requesting personal information from people.
“If somebody calls and says they are with a government agency, and they start asking you questions that involve you giving them personal information, it's a very simple act, hang up the phone, they are a scam artist,” said Stephens.
There’s more to beating the scam than just hanging up the phone. The BBB said people are sometimes tempted to call the number that called them back. Stephens said that’s not a good idea. Calling back just gives the scammer another chance to get more information from the consumer.
The BBB also says people shouldn’t rely on caller ID. Some scammers can display a legitimate company’s name or number on caller ID in order to fool people. Finally, the BBB reminds consumers that it is never a good idea to give personal information out over the phone.
Stephens told Channel 4 that the scam has been going on for about four months and he expects that more scammers will continue to attempt to scam people into giving out their personal information.
People who think they have been targeted in this scam should contact the Better Business Bureau at 1-800-940-1315.