I just got a typical junk email from “Affordable Coverage”. It is a pretty straightforward scam aimed at getting the recipient to log onto their website and either get infected with malicious spyware or undertake some steps to aid them in stealing your identity. Of course it might even give you some sort of coverage certificate you can print out with a few miles of exclusions, bogus help lines phone numbers and an unhealthy dose of teeny tiny type deductable double talk to ensure you never see a dime.
Pariah schemes blossom best when things are broken. High pressure selling of scam adjustable mortgages reached a fever pitch in a largely unregulated and unwatched financial system that did not work for citizens. The same is true for health care insurance. Our present private system which takes high premiums and then delivers little, creates the conditions in which creative email copywriting of outright pickpocket falsehoods becomes tempting to cyber criminals and enticing to those trapped in difficult situations .
These emails and similar web ads that are “too good to be true” prey on young inexperienced consumers, the working poor, insurance rejection victims, small struggling entrepreneurial businesses, and the newly unemployed. We see examples of this type of con in online pharmacy fraud activity as well. We are necessarily focused on the health care reform debate about many of the larger issues on the table. But let’s not forget that the present system creates lots of social venerability and has real live victims of all kinds of other systemic problems. Another outcome of excellent and substantive coverage for all will be to marginalize these predators.