Don’t get scammed

State officials and consumer advocates warn of possible fake insurance-exchange websites

As California gets ready to open a health-insurance exchange to conform with requirements handed down by the Affordable Care Act, officials and consumer advocates around the country are spreading the word about the possibility of confusion and fraud caused by look-alike insurance-exchange websites.

Kaiser Health News pointed out that fake sites might ask for personal data, such as credit-card information, as well as “install malware on consumers’ computers to steal sensitive information.”

“The potential for fake exchanges to rear up is very serious and real,” said James Quiggle, communications director for the Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. “These [websites] could range from deceptive but relatively benign marketing devices for legitimate insurance companies to malicious devices that are designed to steal your identity or insurance information.”

The Golden State’s official insurance-exchange website is called Covered California; go to to access it.