Confidence is the remedy to weakness. Think about how vulnerable an NBA player is to a garden variety pump fake? Not very. But how about your grandmother? Most likely, if you gave her a little show and go, she’d quickly be on the ground clutching her broken ankles. Not to take a cheap shot at your grandmother’s hoops skills — one person’s rocking-chair-bound sweater knitter is another’s ex-WNBA all-star. The point is, as one’s confidence in a subject recedes, so too does his or her ability to recognize and fend off attacks. Show a pair of fake Air Jordan shoes to anyone who doesn’t consider themselves a “sneaker head,” and they’ll take your word for it. Lay some cubic zirconia–studded earrings on your wife, and unless she’s armed with a loupe and GIA expertise, she likely won’t know the difference either. Now think about health insurance. To most people, health insurance is a big, complicated mess of forms, fine print, and bureaucracy. That is why health insurance scams are so effective.
In this article, we cover:
- How a lack of confidence can leave you vulnerable.
- Why health insurance scams are so attractive to scammers.
- Blocking health insurance scam attacks in real time.
Are health insurance scams a problem? You bet your sweet deductible. Healthcare fraud costs the nation about $68 billion annually, which accounts for about 3 percent of the nation’s $2.26 trillion in heathcare spending. The FBI estimates losses could be as high as 10 percent per year, or $300 billion.
With so much money changing hands in the healthcare business, fraudsters understand how much they stand to gain by deceiving the masses. They realize that in 2019, $799.4 billion was spent on Medicare, which serves citizens 65 years of age or older. And every year, it’s millions of elderly Americans that fall victim to some type of financial fraud or confidence scheme, totaling more than $3 billion in losses. Healthcare insurance scams offer the perfect storm of fraud vulnerabilities: age, complexity, and weakness.
For hard evidence, look no further than YouMail’s very own Robocall Index. In June alone, 4.4 billion robocalls were placed, 39 percent of which were categorized as scams. Considering 24 percent of robocalls were categorized as telemarketing, that means more than six in 10 robocalls were of the unwelcome variety: spam or scams.
Digging deeper, you can see that two of the top 100 volume robocallers nationwide in June 2021 were identified as possible health insurance fraud attempts. Calls from the No. 74 worst offender on our list were identified as a Medicare insurance scam. Specifically, the caller refers to a recent request for Medicare information from the victim and promises to connect them with someone who can assist. You can even listen to the actual robocall message for yourself. It sounds professional enough, and by targeting seniors by specifically calling out Medicare, the perpetrators are increasing their odds of finding a susceptible victim.
The No. 94 worst offender on our monthly list plays the same angle. This time, they vaguely refer to a Medicare supplement plan that “could save you money.” Once again, they are fishing for the most vulnerable among us: elderly people who would love to save a buck. The Robocall Index provides recordings of several iterations of this message, as well as other robocall scams attempted on this specific line. The index also includes a history of user reports identifying when these attacks were attempted.
Swat Away Health Insurance Robocall Attacks in Real Time
This brings us to how one protects himself or herself from health insurance scams. We’ve already shined a light on your first layer of protection: information. YouMail’s Robocall Index is an incredible resource to tap anytime you have your doubts about an incoming call. We draw our data from the more than 350 million phone numbers we protect and well over 10 billion calls answered to date. Leveraging all that data and 14 years of experience has enabled us to stop more than 1 billion robocalls from ever being made.
So how can you harness all this power in real time? The free YouMail app, of course. Available for iPhones and Android devices, our app not only provides best-in-class robocall blocking protection — which prevents future attacks by playing an out-of-service message to scammers, thus removing you from their call lists — but also more accurate caller ID, custom voicemail greetings, and visual voicemail that is more powerful than anything that comes packed on your smartphone by default.
While it’s true that we’re too nerdy to help stop you from biting on pump fakes, we can provide the confidence to remedy one of the great drags of everyday life in 2021: stopping robocallers dead in their tracks.