With the continued debate over Obamacare, health care is staying in the headlines. Scam artists are using that to try and get your money.
A lot of times scammers will use things that are in the news because people feel more comfortable with the topic. The latest scam targets health care, specifically BadgerCare Plus members.
Scammers will call and tell a person they are eligible for a $200 stipend for their account. They then ask for bank account information in order to make a deposit. Of course they won't make a deposit, they'll clean out your account. If you get this call, just hang up.
The BadgerCare program is run by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. They already have your personal information, you wouldn't need to give it to them again. They would ask you to verify your birthday to make sure they are talking to the right person.
Just a general rule, never provide personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call.
Also, we are revisiting a scam that is blowing up in popularity. Orange Computer Repair in La Crosse says they see it about once a week.
A scammer will claim they've spotted a virus on your computer and get you to give them remote access. Once they do that they can either infect the computer, or they will convince the victim that the computer needs work done.
They'll do that by pulling up an activity log. Every computer has this log and most of these entries, even the ones that say warning, are not an indication there is a problem with your computer. But the scammer will use this info to sell a fake service to the victim.
Orange Computer says the scammers even call themselves Microsoft workers or IT workers just to sound legitimate. "There's really no reason that anybody should be calling you and nobody is going to be checking out computers and letting you know, oh by the way you have a virus that could damage, if you have a virus, you're probably going to know," says Matthew Metzger from Orange Computer Repair.
If you get this call and didn't give the scammer access to your computer, if you just hung up you're fine. If you went farther and they gained remote access, take your computer in to a local specialist to have it looked at. Scammers can leave behind a virus.
This is by far the most common scam right now, but we want to hear about all of them to bring as many to light as possible. If you would like to share your scam with us you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a copy of the scam. You can also leave a message on our WKBT News8000 Facebook page or call us at 608-784-7897.
If you would like to report a scam to the state you can do so on the Consumer Protection Bureau website.