Blue Cross Reminds Louisianians to Watch Out for Fraud and Scams

April 11, 2022

BATON ROUGE, La. – It’s tax season, which is unfortunately a peak time scammers take 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 people of all ages can be fraud victims, older adults are most likely to be targeted. The FBI advises that millions of adults 65 and older are involved in fraud or scams each year, adding up to $3 billion in losses. 

“The biggest thing you can do to prevent fraud is to trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right to you, don’t engage,” said Kandyce Cowart, Blue Cross Special Investigations manager. “That’s especially important if someone is pressuring you to share your financial, health or personal information. Don’t worry about being rude or impolite – just hang up, walk away or don’t respond.”  

Here are some tips to avoid fraud and common scams:  

Be suspicious whenever ANYONE asks you for money or for your personal, financial or health information, especially if it’s unexpected or coming from a stranger. 

Scammers will claim to be calling from the IRS and tell you there is a problem with your tax return and you need to send money now to avoid fines or jail time. The IRS will typically notify you by mail if there is a problem with your taxes – they will not cold call you. If you get a call like this, do not respond. Check with the person who prepares your tax return, or contact the IRS directly to find out if you really need to do anything. 

It’s ok to ignore calls, emails, text messages, visits or other unwanted outreach– particularly if someone is making you uncomfortable or pressuring you to act quickly without having time to think about it or talk to others. 

If someone you’ve only met online through social media or dating sites asks you for money or personal information, it’s a red flag. 

Scammers often try pretending to be someone you know, like a grandchild or other relative. They’ll use tactics such as claiming to be stranded in another country or under arrest and will ask you to help them right away. If you get an out-of-the-blue request for money or your financial information, ask questions only the real person could answer to make sure it’s really them before you respond. 

Scammers may also claim to be reaching out on behalf of your health care provider’s office or pharmacy to ask you for health information. Verify any outreach before giving your insurance coverage or other details, especially if the person is asking about something you’ve never discussed with your provider or pharmacist. 
Do not accept offers to have pills, creams, devices or other medical supplies sent to you without talking to your health care provider. If these items show up at your home and you didn’t order them, don’t use them. 

“If you think you’ve been the victim of fraud or were approached by a scammer, report it as soon as possible,” Cowart said. “The sooner you let someone know about it, the sooner it can be stopped.” 

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 make reports to the insurer’s Fraud Hotline 1-800-392-9249.  

Blue Cross and the New Orleans FBI Field Office 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:

Fraud alerts with credit monitoring
Complete identity repair and restoration services on demand if you are the victim of identity theft

While these services are an extra benefit for being a Blue Cross customer, they apply to all parts of life, not just health care. 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:

Visit the Experian IdentityWorks website to enroll

When prompted, enter the activation code: BCBSLA22

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. Follow Blue Cross on social media @BCBSLA. Blue Cross posts regularly on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok. 

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 have been recognized for the past three years 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 or talk to us on social media.