POSTED: Monday, October 7, 2013 - 7:00am
UPDATED: Monday, October 7, 2013 - 12:59pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — The Affordable Care Act healthcare exchanges are up and running, but there's a warning today from consumer advocates about scam artists using the new law as a way to take your money.
The Affordable Care Act's health insurance marketplace is open for business; both private assistance at contracted agency for Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Public assistance through certified application counselors are available to people shopping for health care plans
"They could possibly get financial incentives or financial assistance with affording insurance but that would be determined by the marketplace," said ACA Outreach Enrollment Coordinator Shawntae Zachery.
But officials warn if someone on the phone is asking you for money regarding the Affordable Care Act, chances are it's a scam.
The Better Business Bureau and fraud dot org are warning consumers about suspicious calls and emails using the ACA as a way to get to your wallet.
"The Better Business Bureau also suggests you should be cautious of calls, e-mail and text messages because the U.S. Government prefers to use the U.S. Mail.
So if you do get a suspicious call, authorities say it's best to hang up and never call back.
Democratic Party leaders in Sarasota County, Florida say they are calling to inform residents about the healthcare exchanges, but they never ask for money or personal information.
Money doesn't come up with federal navigators either.
"We definitely want to make sure people are comfortable coming to us. We are easily identified by our people, our id badge, and our services are no cost at all," said Zachery.
And one more tip to avoid being scammed is to never give out personal information when receiving an unsolicited phone call or e-mail.