Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable on April 1 urged Wisconsin consumers to watch out for scammers offering fake COVID-19 insurance products or attempting to steal personal information.
“Unfortunately, there are some bad actors out there who would try and exploit this pandemic,” Afable said. “During this public health emergency, we are encouraging folks to be vigilant and informed so they can spot the scammers and protect themselves.”
The Office of Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) is urging consumers to watch out for scammers offering fake, low-cost “corona” or “COVID-19” insurance to cover medical treatments. Some scammers might contact consumers claiming their health insurance has been “canceled” and then provide either a toll-free phone number or a malware link to click in hopes of stealing the consumer’s personal information.
To protect themselves against fraud, OCI is encouraging consumers to hang up on robocalls and to remember to never disclose personal information over the phone when receiving a call. OCI is also reiterating that if consumers are ever unsure about an insurance company or agent, they should stop before signing any paperwork or issuing payment and confirm that the company or agent offering the insurance product is legitimate and licensed to sell insurance in our state.
Consumers can look up agents and companies by visiting this website from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Multiple Wisconsin agencies and offices are working together to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and related developments, including combating scams. To report suspected scams, fraud, false marketing claims, or other consumer complaints related to COVID-19, please contact the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Consumer Protection Hotline at DATCPHotline@wisconsin.gov or (800) 422-7128, or file an online complaint.
Created by the Legislature in 1870, Wisconsin's Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) was vested with broad powers to ensure that the insurance industry met the insurance needs of Wisconsin citizens. Today, OCI informs and protects the public and responds to its insurance needs.