Open Enrollment Is Open Season for Scammers

Open Enrollment Is Open Season for Scammers

February 10th, 2020 - Telecom, Identity and Protection

By Lavinia Kennedy, Director of Product Management at TNS

Each year during the open enrollment period, we see an increase in related phone scams. Some attempt to sell faulty insurance plans, while others pose as insurance companies to gain details for phishing attacks.

This year, many scammers are claiming to be from HealthCare.gov by spoofing the government agency’s telephone numbers. While HealthCare.gov does make periodic calls of reminders and deadlines, many spoofers are also taking advantage of their numbers.

Another government health program being impersonated is Medicare. In December, we saw over 100,000 calls with the message “very important Medicare notification from Medicare plus card”. There actually is a company called Medicare Plus Card – they provide discounts on health services such as vision and dental – but this company is not affiliated with the US government. Scammers are using both Medicare and the Medicare plus card to make scam calls.

These calls came from the number (844) 914-0523, which our technology has identified to be a potential phishing scheme. Those who answered calls from this number claim the caller asked for personal information, such as their Social Security numbers and credit card numbers.

Scammers thrive off their victim’s lack of knowledge. In the coming months, it is likely we will see many of these scammers taking advantage of those who missed the deadline or consumers who do not have insurance by making calls claiming:

  • “It is not too late to enroll for 2020 health plans!”
  • “We have a special offer for free 2020 health insurance!”
  • “Open enrollment is almost over, and insurance companies are changing their plans and benefits costs in 2020. Call us back for a free insurance review.”

As always, be very wary of who you talk to on the phone. Even if the number is a government number or claiming to be the government, there is a very good chance you are talking to a spoofer. If you think you have been a victim of one of these scams, the best thing to do is report what happened – you can do this to law enforcement, the FTC and the FCC.

Why not go even further and protect yourself with a telecom provider’s robocall detection solution powered by TNS Call Guardian. According to a Mind Commerce study, Call Guardian correctly identified spoofed numbers 98% of the time compared to only 64% for other solutions.

TNS analyzes robocall data from more than one billion daily call events across hundreds of telecom providers. Because of this volume of data, TNS extracts insights on emerging robocaller trends and tactics. While it is difficult to predict what the next major robocall scam will be, we do know this: scammers continue to rapidly evolve their tactics and targets to evade detection efforts. This means consumers must remain vigilant when it comes to suspicious incoming calls, and carriers must continue to commit to deploying innovative solutions to protect their subscribers. Find details for your appropriate TNS representative on our contact page.

Find details for your appropriate TNS representative on our contact page