It was pure luck. He called. You answered. At the time, you didn't realize it was bad luck ringing your line.

It sounded like the perfect offer. No medical questions or physical exams were necessary. And bonus - signing up for health coverage right then meant an additional discount!

If you take these steps, the next scammer who tries to place a bet on your phone number will be out of luck.

Fast Forward Two Months: That 15-minute phone call is now costing you time and money. How is this possible?

Robocallers play a numbers game. If you answer their call, the odds of scamming you are in their favor - not yours.

You press "2" to get transferred to a live representative.

You: Man, I thought I'd never find affordable coverage.

Roboscam Representative: Well, then consider yourself lucky. All I need is some information, and we'll get your health insurance cards in the mail today.

You: Really? Don't I need to fill out a bunch of forms and get a medical exam?

Roboscam Representative: (Laughs) No. We make it easy.

After giving them your bank account information and Social Security number, game over. But you won't realize it until you need to access medical services or you start receiving debt collection calls.

Two Months Later

You: Hi, um, I need to schedule an appointment for my back pain. It's getting worse.

Medical Office Receptionist: Before I schedule your appointment, I must verify insurance. Do you have your card available?

You give her the number and answer a few questions about the card.

Medical Office Receptionist: I'm sorry. That's not a valid health insurance card. You'll need to pay for services out-of-pocket unless you have another card.

And it only gets worse.

In addition to more robocalls burning up your line, debt collectors are leaving messages about credit accounts you never opened. And that tax refund check you were expecting still hasn't arrived.


Fraudsters claiming to provide affordable medical insurance are on the prowl year-round. They offer bogus health insurance and medical discount cards for a small fee, but their end game is to get their hands on your private information.

Once they have it, they can steal your identity, access current bank accounts, open new lines of credit, or submit a tax return in your name and take your refund.

What You Can Do About It

Robocaller scams still work because enough people fall for them to make them profitable. Here's what you can do to help reduce their odds of claiming you as their next victim.

  • Download a call blocking app onto your mobile phone or install a call-blocking service on your landline.

  • Add your phone numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry. If you still receive unsolicited calls, report them to the Federal Trade Commission.

  • Hang up as soon as you hear that robotic voice on the other end. Avoid pressing any numbers. Doing so could lead to more robocalls since answering confirms that they've reached a live number.

If you take these steps, the next scammer who tries to place a bet on your phone number will be out of luck.