Scams in the field of healthcare are not new. It occurs when people or organizations with evil intentions falsely try to collect money by fooling healthcare seekers. When medical shops and manufacturers trade healthcare products that are not proven safe or functional, these situations are considered healthcare scams.
Healthcare scams also occur when scammers do not fulfill the promises they made or when healthcare products and medicine suppliers unethically make a considerable profit from their customers. From individuals to businesses, anyone can get scammed by these healthcare perpetrators. Thus, it is advisable to acquire knowledge about the strategies these healthcare scammers utilize to defraud people. Some of the strategies they own are discussed in this article.
Healthcare Scams occur due to,
- Scammers utilizing health insurance to perpetrate mischief
- Fictitious health insurance navigator
- Health insurance renewal scams
- Using compromised and dangerous raw materials
- Illegitimate online pharmacies
- Exploiting with per-visit charges
- Charging for experimental treatment
- Government agency impersonation
- False diagnoses and needless services
- Double Billing
- Identity theft
Scammers utilizing health insurance to perpetrate mischief:
Healthcare scammers target random people to commit forgery. They contact their targets pretending to be calling from a health insurance agency and try to convince them to opt for their health insurance policy. The health insurance they sell does not exist in reality. They make it up to fool people into transferring money to them. They generally demand money upfront and cease all contact once they garner money from them.
Fictitious health insurance navigator:
Health insurance navigators or assistants are those who help people find health insurance coverage. Sometimes they charge their clients money in order to help them find one. They are also liable to help people who need further help in applying for the insurance policy and also in filling up forms.
It is necessary for everyone to remember that health insurance navigators cannot charge people or ask for any kind of payment. It is an unlawful act to charge people for their services.
Health insurance renewal scams:
Healthcare scams occur when scammers set those as targets who already have subscribed for health insurance and claim that their health insurance policy is about to expire. They insist on their targets for its renewal and argue that they will not be able to avail the benefits otherwise.
Sometimes they do deep research about the victims’ health insurance policies and mention these details in their conversations so that they can easily make their targets believe them. Once these scammers garner money in the name of health insurance renewal, they disappear without any delay.
Using compromised and dangerous raw materials:
Healthcare scam also occurs when a medicine manufacturer compromises the raw materials used to make medicines. Scammers, in order to make the medicines cheapest in the market, use the most affordable raw materials available, making them dangerous to consume. They do it in order to make an illicit profit while compromising the health of the patients.
Illegitimate online pharmacies:
Ingenious scammers establish fraudulent websites in order to trick people. These websites look identical to existing legitimate online pharmacies as they imitate their domain names as well as the website design. They target the existing customers of the pharmacies and demand upfront payments for the delivery of the medicines. Customers realize that they have been scammed when they do not receive any medicines after making all the payments.
Exploiting with per-visit charges:
In most places, doctors and medical practitioners charge their patients for payment against a per visit rule. Unfortunately, some unethical and corrupt medical practitioners exploit this practice and patients’ lack of knowledge and set up multiple visits for illnesses that can be treated within one or two visits. They do that so that they can make profits unlawfully.
Charging for experimental treatment:
Medical practitioners and medicine manufacturers often conduct experimental treatments to test their skills as well as the effectiveness of medicines. They employ people to be part of their experiments and treatments. Patients also opt for these experimental treatments as, most of the time, they get paid with some amount. However, seeking a fee from the patients for applying for these opportunities or research work is a scam.
Healthcare scams also take place when these medical practitioners charge a lot for experimental treatments or do not let the participants know that they are conducting an investigational treatment.
Government agency impersonation:
Impersonation scams are not new, but when scammers choose impersonation scams to fool people, they prefer impersonating government authorities as they believe it is easy to garner targets’ trust, and very few people think twice before handing over their personal information to government agents. Thus, they contact their victims disguised as government agents, propose exciting offers for opting for their services, and demand payments in advance, in order to steal them.
False diagnoses and needless services:
Many unethical medical practitioners recommend their patients opt for services that are not needed at all. They do that so that they can earn extra profit by exploiting patients’ illnesses. Moreover, they conduct false diagnoses so that they can add them to their bills. They charge a massive amount for these needless diagnostic procedures and also suggest tests and medicines that are not required at all.
Medical practitioners are finding new ways every day to defraud healthcare seekers through billing systems. Double billing scams take place when scammers submit multiple claims for the same services. These opportunistic medical providers target imprudent patients and trick them into making double payments for the same service.
Scammers do not always plan to run away solely with their money. They sometimes aim to steal people’s identities, to use them for further benefit. They sometimes sell them in the black market or create fake profiles to fool medical vendors and manufacturers.
How can one avoid falling into the trap of Healthcare Scams?
Extensive threats of these healthcare scammers lead people to seek countermeasures, and as we all know, every problem comes with a solution; healthcare scams are avoidable when you cleverly deal with them. Hence, here are some red flags that you can keep in mind.
- Unnecessarily rushing
- Lack of information
- Complex to comprehend
These are fraudsters who rush people into opting for their health insurance. They call more frequently than legitimate healthcare organizations. The sentences they use while convincing their targets are often stuffed with words that create a sense of urgency.
They even mention exciting limited-period offers and deadlines, which are unnecessary and irrelevant. They make these offers just to lure people into opting for their insurance. Therefore, it is advisable to approach these offers with skepticism. Moreover, an independent investigation before making any decisions serves as a great antidote to these problems.
Lack of information:
Unlike legitimate healthcare organizations, illegitimate healthcare organizations are very frugal about revealing their contact information and service policies. As scammers aim to escape with their targets’ money from the beginning, they make sure that they are hard to get in touch with when victims try to contact them.
However, unlike these ingenious scammers, legitimate healthcare organizations always ensure that their customers can easily reach out to them when in need, so they can enhance customer satisfaction. Therefore it is advisable not to deal with the companies when they lack contact details and other important information.
Complex to comprehend:
One should always remember that the policies and procedures of a healthcare organization should not be too complex to understand. Scammers sometimes deliberately make their process too complicated to comprehend as they aim to run away with people’s funds. People should always verify their legitimacy before opting for any of the services offered by them.
One should never share any personal information before confirming the legitimacy of the company they are dealing with. Always remember that government agents never make an unsolicited call and ask for a private date or other information related to your bank account over a call. Independent investigations are always helpful in avoiding healthcare scammers. It is advisable to research before paying for any services or making any decisions.
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