Fraud Watch Network: Insurance and Netflix

REGION – January is an important month for insurance policy changes. You may recall the incessant advertising for Medicare Advantage plans a few weeks ago (thank heaven they are over, for now). Many subscribers changed insurance coverage by either adding or dropping programs. In some cases, program managers made changes in coverage or benefits. These changes took effect on Jan. 1. Beware of emails, text messages, or phone calls from anyone claiming to be your insurance provider. Criminals may threaten you with the loss of insurance coverage or benefits. If the message is by phone call, hang up and don’t worry about being rude. If it is a text or email, simply close the message window (don’t immediately erase the message). Use a reliable contact number and call the provider that allegedly issued the notice asking if they are reaching out to you. If not, report the scam. Never try to contact the sender or respond using the contact information in the scam message.

Insurance policies are contracts between the insurance provider and the policy purchaser. Legal requirements provide for written notice of any changes in insurance coverage, not text messages, phone calls, or emails. Also, if you are asked to pay a fee or premium by gift card or crypto-currency (bit coin), it is a scam. Legitimate companies do not conduct business this way.

In the News: If you are a television enthusiast you might be eager to grab this limited time offer: Free Netflix For A Year! Thousands received emails and text messages announcing, “Due to the pandemic, Netflix is offering everyone a free year of service to help you stay at home. Click the link to sign up.” Don’t click! It is a scam. Clicking the link takes you to an imposter website on your device asking for credit card and personal information. If you receive this message, report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission at

Finally, do you think you’ve received too many scam calls? T-Mobile announced that they blocked over 21 billion scam calls this year so consider yourself lucky!

Questions or concerns? Contact Elliott Greenblott is a retired educator and coordinator of the AARP Vermont Fraud Watch Network. He hosts a CATV program, Mr. Scammer, distributed by GNAT-TV, Sunderland, Vt.,

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