BATON ROUGE, La. – The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, recently issued stimulus payments and tax season have unfortunately created situations that scammers are taking advantage of to trick people into handing over money or personal information.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana reminds everyone to be on the lookout for fraud and know how to avoid it. While this is important for people of all ages, older adults are most likely to be targeted. The FBI advises that millions of adults 65 and older are fraud victims each year, with a cost of $3 billion in losses.
“Criminals often go after adults in this age group because they are more likely to own homes, have good credit and have savings,” said Kandyce Cowart, Blue Cross Federal Investigations manager. “And, people of this generation tend to be more trusting and less skeptical, which makes them more likely to answer a cold call or talk with a stranger. To prevent being a fraud victim, don’t worry about being rude or impolite – if something doesn’t seem right, don’t engage.”
Here are some tips to avoid fraud and common scams:
“If you think you’ve been the victim of fraud or were approached by a scammer, report it as soon as possible,” Cowart said. “That can help authorities stop this quickly and limit how many people are affected.”
You can report suspected fraud online at Tips.FBI.Gov or IC3.Gov or by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324). Blue Cross members can also makes reports to the insurer’s Fraud Hotline 1-800-392-9249.
Blue Cross and the New Orleans FBI Field Office recently produced a short video on “Avoiding Fraud” to share these tips (1:55).
Free Identity Protection Services
Eligible Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana customers can sign up for free identity protection services offered in partnership with Experian, a national company that specializes in identity protection.
Most customers are eligible for these services, which include:
While these services are an extra benefit for being a Blue Cross customer, they apply to all parts of life, not just healthcare. If your credit card is stolen or there is a data breach at a retailer where you shop, these services will protect you then, too.
Identity repair is automatically available to you with no enrollment required. If you become a victim of identity theft, contact Experian’s customer care team at 1-888-270-0056. An Experian investigator will act as your guide and advocate from start to finish until the issue is resolved.
Credit monitoring is available as an extra layer of protection that helps you stay informed of your credit activity. If you want these services, you need to sign up. You will not be automatically enrolled.
To sign up for credit monitoring with Experian:
After you sign up, Experian will check in with you each year to make sure you are still eligible for these services. If you are and wish to continue, you can quickly renew, and your coverage will remain in place.
For more information about these services, visit Blue Cross’ identity protection services website.
Visit the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana YouTube channel to see short videos on various health topics. Subscribe to know when new videos are added. You can also connect with Blue Cross on social media for regular updates.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. Founded in New Orleans in 1934, we are a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer with offices in every major region to serve our customers. We were recognized in 2019 and 2020 as an honoree of The Civic 50, named by Points of Light as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. We invite all Louisianians to visit our website at www.bcbsla.com or talk to us on social media.