ORLANDO, Fla. – A call from the 727 area code offered a great deal on health insurance but when YouMail Inc. checked the number, it led to the offices of a Florida mattress company, not a health insurance provider.
When News 6 called the number, it was out of service, and it appears the mattress company is no longer in business, meaning the number had been spoofed.
Sara Thompson, one of four YouMail Inc. employees involved in a two-month-long investigation into the robocall offers, said the man she spoke to never checked the information she provided and seemed to be reading from a prepared script or notes.
“He wanted the money down as an account opening payment, as well as the first month,” she said.
Thompson said she used a fake name and credit card number. The man, who identified himself as Larry, claimed to be selling health insurance, yet he didn’t know when the first billing cycle would begin.
“Whether it be a credit card, or any sort of personal information, they want to get that information and that’s what they’re selling,” Thompson said. “They’re not taking money out of your account themselves.”
Of course, as News 6 has reported, identity theft is still a high-stakes game for hackers and con men.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, the identities of an estimated 9 million Americans are stolen each year.
Thompson said he did not present himself as a representative of a specific health plan but claimed to work with Galaxy Health, a health network based in Arlington, Texas.
According to the company website, it offers a preferred provider organization.
The company is based in Arlington, Texas, and has no connection to the man linked to the robocalls offering health insurance.
News 6 advised the company’s management of the robocall impostor.
Dr. Alex Quilici, YouMail's Ceo, said his company has intercepted “thousands of the identical health care message(s)” during the past few months.
Thompson said the robocall scheme is well done, taking advantage of consumers who really are in need of affordable health care.
“The amount of people that are falling for this, not getting health insurance, losing their money and having their accounts compromised, is substantial,” Thompson said.
The top three offers on the robocall circuit right now include health insurance, teeth whitening offers and threats of arrest by the IRS.