Healthcare scams occur when medical practitioners defraud people for their own benefit. Healthcare scams can be of many types. Scammers sometimes fool people by impersonating a legitimate medical provider or government organization or sometimes by running fictitious online pharmacies. Healthcare scams also occur when scammers make an illicit profit by selling medicines at a high price or charging their patients for services that are not needed at all.
Healthcare Scams are becoming more prevalent in this period and utilizing new strategies every day to trick people. Steer clear of these threats by being informative about these ingenious strategies. Some of the strategies are discussed in this article.
Healthcare Scams involve,
- Impersonating health insurance organizations
- Fictitious health insurance offers
- Unlawful health insurance navigators
- Fake health insurance renewal claims
- Cheap raw materials and compromised products
- Fictitious online pharmacies
- Exploiting per visit charge practices
- Charging for the investigational treatment
- Impersonation of Government agencies
- False diagnoses and needless services
- Double billing
- Identity Theft
Impersonating health insurance organizations:
Impersonation scams are not new, but these healthcare scams are becoming more prevalent over time. To garner others’ money, healthcare scammers impersonate legitimate and well-known health insurance organizations, which have a good reputation among people. They unsolicited contact people, pretending to be health insurance agents and try to convince their targets to opt for their insurance policy. The health insurance they offer does not exist in reality, and they are only made up to fool other people.
Fictitious health insurance offers:
Scammers who contact people disguised as health insurance companies offer people health insurance policies that are too good to be true. They lure their targets with an offer promising incredible returns, but the health insurance they offer is not even real. So it is advisable to be wary of the offers that sound too good to be true. When the offers are incredible and hard to believe, the chances of your money getting compromised are high.
Health insurance navigators help people seeking health insurance policies find a suitable health insurance coverage option. Not only that, but they are also trained to help people who need other help related to health insurance.
People who seek suitable healthcare insurance coverage can seek help while applying for it and filling out the forms. Sometimes some acquisitive health insurance navigators illegally charge a considerable amount of money from their clients. These circumstances can be considered healthcare scams. Health insurance seekers should never forget that it is illegal for health insurance navigators to charge money from their clients. They cannot demand money to help others.
Fake health insurance renewal claims:
Sometimes health insurance scammers set the insured ones as their targets even when they already have a health insurance plan. They contact them falsely claiming that their health insurance is about to expire and demand money in order to renew it. It is easy to spot scammers when you have not subscribed for any health insurance, but a health insurance subscriber is very likely to fall for their trap.
Cheap raw materials and compromised products:
To make a huge profit through the medicines they sell, medical providers use the cheapest raw materials available while creating products and, thus, compromise the quality of drugs. They do that so that they can release their products as cheaply as possible but little do they care about their customers’ health. Healthcare scams occur when they make their product dangerous to consume.
Fictitious online pharmacies:
Another example of an impersonation scam we see is when they fool people by pretending to be legitimate online pharmacies. They sometimes establish websites that look identical to the websites of other online pharmacies. To ensure that the website resembles the original website, they imitate their domain name as well as the design of the page. Through these websites, they garner victims’ private data and use them for their own profit.
Exploiting per-visit charge practices:
In most places, medical practitioners charge their patients by following the per-visit rule. In this practice, patients pay the medical practitioner each time they visit them for treatment. Unfortunately, scammers take advantage of this practice and set up multiple visits for treatments that can be settled within one or two visits and make illicit profits by fooling imprudent patients.
Charging for investigational treatment:
Many medical practitioners and researchers conduct investigational treatments, and many people participate in them to get treated. Generally, it is free of cost or cheaper. But some fictitious medical practitioners and researchers conduct this research at higher costs which is an illegal act and is considered a scam.
Impersonation by Government agencies:
Impersonation scammers generally impersonate government agencies as they believe it will take less effort to trick people into transferring money. As we all know, people trust the government and do not think much before handing over their private information.
Scammers posing as government agents contact people randomly, convince them to opt for their medical services, and garner their bank details in the name of form filling. They frequently call their targets and try to persuade them once they sense that they can make them fall into their trap.
False diagnoses and needless services:
Some unlawful and unethical medical providers suggest to their patient’s unnecessary diagnostic procedures. They do that so that they can earn more money. Not only do they recommend unnecessary diagnostic procedures, but they also provide needless medical services to charge their patients extra.
Similar to suggesting a false diagnosis, a double billing scam occurs when they try to steal patients’ money by adding the services they provide two times to the same bill. They make an illicit profit by double billing, whereas the patients have to pay more.
Scammers sometimes do not aim to run away with others’ money. They steal their targets’ identities and make a profit out of them. They either sell the details in the black market or leverage them for other unethical work.
How to deal with Healthcare Scams
Incremental threats of scammers in healthcare sectors compel people to opt for countermeasures. To prevent these healthcare scams, people should know the red flags in the healthcare platforms and what they need to avoid while dealing with a medical provider.
Some of the red flags in healthcare sectors are,
- Rushing people into opting for health insurance
- Lack of contact details
- Hard-to-understand policies
- Asking for personal information
- Unbelievably cheaper medicines
Rushing people into opting for health insurance:
When you are receiving unsolicited calls from someone claiming to be calling from a health insurance company, and they compel you to opt for the health insurance plan offered by them, or when they make frequent calls and rush you with exciting offers, chances are high that they are healthcare scammers.
So it is recommendable that you avoid such phone calls. They sometimes even mention limited-period offers and set unusual deadlines to push their targets into making a quick decision. Still, one should consider these red flags and avoid dealing with them to prevent healthcare scams.
Lack of contact details:
Lack of contact details is a major red flag that people must be wary of. So when you are dealing with a healthcare company, go through their website and confirm that they have provided enough contact information. If their website or the emails and messages they send do not have enough contact information, avoid dealing with them to prevent healthcare scams.
A website of a legitimate organization does not lack contact information. Unlike these legitimate organizations, fictitious ones are frugal about providing contact details. As they intended to run away with victims’ money, they ensured they were hard to get in touch with.
Ask for their company policies; most of the time, scammers do not provide their customers with company policies, and if they do, they make it too hard to understand. They do it deliberately to keep their policies obscure, leaving their targets helpless when they decide to take legal action.
Asking for personal information:
It is hard to avoid this Healthcare scams that use their targets’ data for their benefit, as people need to provide personal information while applying for some service regardless of what field it is in. One thing people can do is confirm the provider’s legitimacy before providing personal data.
Unbelievably cheaper medicines:
Avoid consuming unbelievably cheaper medicines. As mentioned earlier in this article, unethical medical providers compromise the quality of the drug to make it available at a lower price. Healthcare Scams use cheaper raw materials and thus make it dangerous for their patience to consume them.
Like all other platforms in the market, the healthcare sector is also full of scammers. If you cannot prevent healthcare scams by taking all the countermeasures and getting scammed by them, remember that many organizations help people recover their lost funds. You can easily find them on the internet and seek their help.