Healthcare scams or medicare scams are not new, but in the post-pandemic period, scams in the field of healthcare have become more prevalent. A healthcare scam occurs when a medical practitioner, researcher, or pharmacist opts for an unlawful way to trick people into transferring money to them. The scams also happen when they make an illicit profit from their patients charging more for treatments and medications. Sometimes they even victimize people by imitating a legitimate medical provider’s documents and identification. As healthcare scams have become very common nowadays, people need to be extra cautious while dealing with them.
What is Included in Healthcare Scams?
Counterfeit health insurance agency
Fraudulent health insurance coverage
Acquisitive health insurance navigators
Health insurance renewal scams
Compromised healthcare products
Fraudulent internet based pharmacies
Exploiting per-visit charge practices
Falsely conducting investigation treatments
Impersonation of Government organizations
Unnecessary diagnostic procedures and services
Double billing scams
1. Counterfeit Health Insurance Agency
In this post-pandemic era, as a result of digital acceleration, people are found to be looking for medical help on online platforms. It is also more accessible as well as faster when reaching out to doctors and other medical practitioners via the internet. Unfortunately, scammers have not left out this platform when perpetrating mischief. They see this as a great chance to deceive people into filling their own wallets. Healthcare scammers counterfeit legitimate health insurance agencies. They imitate their websites and set random people as their targets and fool them into transferring money to their accounts. They not only imitate their domain name but also mimic their logo and arrangements of their website in order to trick people.
These ingenious scammers lure people with incredible offers and returns and demand upfront payments. But people should remember that sometimes they are not intended to steal money, but they aim to garner their targets’ private data and plan on trading it in the black market and using it for further profits.
2. Fraudulent Health Insurance Coverage
Scammers who counterfeit legitimate health insurance agencies contact random people posing as health insurance organizations and offer them health insurance policies that sound unbelievably true. As mentioned earlier, they lure their targets, promising incredible returns, but the health insurance they offer people does not exist.
Therefore, people should never forget that if an offer sounds too good to be true, chances are high that it really is. So it is advisable that you avoid such offers.
3. Acquisitive Health Insurance Navigators
We call them health insurance navigators when people offer help to find a suitable health insurance coverage option according to the clients’ needs. They also help people who need further help regarding health insurance, be it for applying the health insurance that they want to opt for or filling out the forms.
Healthcare scams occur when health insurance navigators charge a massive amount of money from medical help seekers. As most of us do not know that they cannot charge us money for their service, they take advantage of it. People should never forget that it is unlawful for health insurance navigators to charge money from their clients. They should not ask for money for their service.
4. Health Insurance Renewal Scams
Health insurance renewal scams occur when healthcare scammers target those who are already insured to a health insurance plan. Scammers garner their contact information and contact them, asserting that their health insurance policy is about to expire. Then they ask for upfront money in order to renew it.
Once they successfully trick their targets into transferring money to their wallet, they disappear without any delay.
It is recommended to ignore such calls if you have not subscribed for any health insurance plan. But if you have opted for them, consider verifying their legitimacy before you trust them with your money.
5. Compromised Healthcare Products
Medicine manufacturers and pharmacists sometimes sell medicines that are dangerous for consumption. Acquisitive scammers who are intended to earn extra profit from the drug they manufacture and sell, compromise the quality of the drug while making them with the cheapest raw materials. They do that so they can make them accessible at the most affordable price attracting people who find more inexpensive options available in the market.
People should be aware of these greedy scammers as customers’ health is none of their concern; they only care about their own benefits.
6. Fraudulent Internet Based Pharmacies
Many healthcare scammers manage fraudulent pharmacies on online platforms. There they sell fictitious medicines and other healthcare supplies for a profit. These fictitious medicine manufacturers and pharmacists entice their targets by providing incredible offers that seem unbelievable. These scammers even counterfeit existing, popular online pharmacies that are genuine. Scammers who impersonate them generally target the existing customers of the pharmacy they imitate. Not only that, but they also mimic their websites, domain names, and logos to deceive them into transferring money to their wallet. Moreover, some scammers aim to steal their targets’ private data and bank details for further benefits.
7. Exploiting Per-Visit Charge Practices
Doctors and medical practitioners follow charges-per-visit rules. In this payment practice, healthcare seekers make payments every time they visit their doctor for a medical treatment. But some unethical medical practitioners and doctors consider this as an opportunity and arrange multiple visits for treatments that can be resolved within a few visits. Many medical providers unlawfully make considerable profits by exploiting this payment practice.
8. Falsely Conducting Investigation Treatments
Medical researchers and practitioners often perform experimental treatments to discover new ways to treat illness or only for practice purposes. These investigation trials sometimes are free of cost or performed at a very low price. But most of the time, these researchers provide the participants’ reimbursement or cash compensation to be a part of the research. Volunteers who want to explore new treatment processes opt for these experimental trials, and sometimes they only participate as they do not have to pay for the treatments.
Healthcare scams occur when researchers and medical practitioners who conduct trials entice people to participate, hiding the fact that they are a part of their experiments and conduct their trials on them. It is also considered a healthcare scam when they charge their participants a lot as they are performing a regular treatment.
9. Impersonation of Government Organizations
As everyone knows, impersonation scams are not new. But scammers practice impersonation of government organizations more than others as they believe that people trust government agents more and seldom think twice before sharing their personal information. Healthcare scammers target random people and contact them, pretending to be government agents. These healthcare scammers attempt to lure them with exciting health insurance policies and other things. Sometimes these scammers claim that they are running a health campaign and try to convince them to participate in it. They ask for upfront money for participation. Once these perpetrators garner the money from them, they disappear with their money without any delay.
These healthcare campaign scammers are seen more during natural adversities and pandemics. They see opportunity in a global recession. As we all know, more people face health issues in these times; scammers take full advantage of the circumstances.
10. Unnecessary Diagnostic Procedures and Services
Besides providing services that are needed, fictitious medical practitioners suggest their patients opt for medical services that are unnecessary. This is how they leverage patients’ beliefs and make illicit profits. Sometimes they also recommend their targets with unnecessary diagnostic procedures only to gain more profit.
Moreover, scammers also include service fees and hidden charges which they do not indicate before providing medical care, but they mention these fees when the services have already been provided. This is how they compel their targets to pay more than their given medical assistance.
11. Double Billing Scams
A double billing scam emerges when healthcare providers trick patients’ into transferring more money to the scammers’ wallets by adding healthcare services they provided once, multiple times to the same medical bill. With this strategy, scammers earn more by fooling imprudent patients.
12. Identity Theft
Scammers do not always intend to run away directly with their targets’ money. Instead, some acquisitive scammers aim to garner their targets’ identifications and personal data to leverage them for long-term profits. Sometimes they sell them in the black market, and sometimes they choose other ways to generate benefits from them.
How to Avoid Getting Scammed by the Healthcare Perpetrators?
Healthcare scammers are finding new ways every day to perpetrate forgery. Increasing threats and sharp practices lead healthcare seekers to look for solutions. As an antidote to these problems, everyone should be aware of the red flags while dealing with medical practitioners. Some of the healthcare warning signs are discussed in the following paragraph.
● Medical practitioners and pharmacists rush people into making a decision
● Lack of information and contact details on available websites
● Unclear and incomprehensible service policies
● Healthcare providers demanding unnecessary documents and personal information
● Medicine is available at incredibly lower prices
● Frequent calls from government agencies
As discussed in this article, the field of healthcare is also full of perpetrators, like in every other area. Therefore, it is necessary that you take precautions while dealing with them. But if you still get scammed after taking all the countermeasures, never forget that there are a lot of fund recovery companies available on the internet that help victims recover the money they have lost in forgery.