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Arizona officials warn of con artists latching onto Affordable Care

In this Tuesday Oct. 1, 2013, file photo, Phoenix College freshman Willow Kanowshy listens during an Affordable Care Act information session in the student union at Phoenix College, in Phoenix. The pressure is on for the federal government and states running their own health insurance exchanges to get their systems up and running after overloaded websites and jammed phone lines frustrated consumers on Tuesday, Oct. the first day they could sign up for insurance under the federal health overhaul. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Mark Henle, File)

PHOENIX -- Scammers have wasted no time in trying to take advantage of consumers who may not be informed about the Affordable Care Act, warned Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne on Friday.

Several reports of fake websites and attempts to steal consumer's personal information have been reported across the country, but none yet Arizona, Horne said.

"We do have reports of people engaging in fraud by trying to sell cards for Obamacare, which doesn't really exist," Horne said.

The idea behind the scam is to gather people's personal information such as Social Security Numbers and date of birth in order to eventually try to steal money.

To avoid becoming a victim, the Arizona Attorney General's Office has outlined three important things to know:

• Seniors who receive Medicare are not affected by Obamacare and do not need to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

• Never pay for help. Legitimate organizations do not charge to help people navigate the marketplace. In Arizona, four groups have received grants to provide "navigators," who can answer questions and help prepare applications. Arizona Association of Community Health Centers, Greater Phoenix Urban League, the University of Arizona's Center for Rural Health, and Campesinos Sin Fronteras.

• Protect your personal information. Don't give out your Social Security Number, financial information or date of birth.

To learn more about the marketplace options, go to the federal government's official website, or call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY 1-855-889-4325).

To report scams, go to the state attorney general's website.

About the Author

Martha is the traffic controller in the KTAR newsroom. Her full time role is that of Assignment and Breaking News Editor of KTAR News. She oversees daily Breaking News planning and over-the air execution, and puts together the elements that make it happen. She gathers and distributes daily news assignments to reporters and editors. She also reports on a daily basis, anchors news afternoons 1-2p and fills in as anchor occasionally during other time slots. She began working at KTAR in the winter of 2012 as Desk Editor and was promoted to oversee Assignments and Breaking News in 2014. During that time, she received two awards as a journalist. The first was the 2013 APTRA Awards, where she took home 2nd place for Best Serious Future in the "Recycled Orchestra." The second was a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for her collaboration in KTAR's Voice for a Better Arizona Series: Immigration - seeking solutions. In her piece, Martha profiled two Arizona sisters looking for the DREAM. Martha was born in Mazatlan, Mexico. She moved to Arizona in 1996 with her parents and younger sister and has lived here since. She attended Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to working at KTAR news she worked in news and production at Univision Arizona in Phoenix. She also supervised the marketing, catering and public relations department at Hotel Araiza, 5-star hotel in Mexicali, Mexico. She has also been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. When she isn't in the newsroom or behind the microphone Martha is an avid gym-goer and marathoner. She trains for two races a year and enjoys taking group exercise classes, such as kickboxing, indoor cycling and weight lifting. Martha is married and lives in Surprise, AZ with 2 dogs, Tasha and Elsa, and a cat, Sammy.


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