GRAND CHUTE - In about two weeks, half a million Wisconsinites will be able to start shopping for health insurance under the nation's health care law, the Affordable Care Act.
And authorities warn that some people will try and take advantage of those shoppers.
So what can you do to protect yourself and your identity?
As with anything new, the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange is confusing, and with that confusion, insurance broker Chris Hanson told FOX 11 criminals will likely try to take advantage of consumers.
"That's the reality of the world that we live in, especially with the sophistication that we have on the internet," said Hanson.
Marty Anderson with Security Health Plan told us if you apply through the health insurance exchange, you will be asked for personal information like Social Security number and income. Anderson said to beware of someone who contacts you right away, and pressures you to buy a policy.
"If somebody is reaching out to you directly that's probably, you probably don't want to give them any of your personally identifiable information," Anderson explained.
J.P Wieske with the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance told FOX 11 you can help avoid this by going to www.healthcare.gov. There you'll find legitimate professionals to help you wade through the exchange.
But some criminals will create fake websites that look just like the real thing. So have your guard up for anything that is sent to you.
"Just make sure you're entering it yourself in the web browser rather than relying on a link somebody sent you," explained Wieske.
Hanson takes it a step further.
"My suggestion is: work with somebody in person, work with someone in person and work with someone you trust," she said.
And Hanson told us you should take your time to shop for insurance. The exchange opens Oct. 1. You have until Dec. 15 to buy a policy that will begin Jan. 1.
"Take a breath. There's no reason to be anxious today. On Dec. 15, it's time to be anxious," said Hanson.
A representative from the Federal Trade Commission told FOX 11 there will most likely be fraud complaints once the healthcare exchange opens. He said in the last three years there have already been 200 such complaints.
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