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Don’t Fall for COVID-19 Phone Scammers’ Traps

Phone scammers are using the COVID-19 pandemic to try and part you from your hard-earned money.

We’re used to it. Our name often gets used by scam artists, so we arm members served by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its family of affiliates with information on how to tell suspicious calls from legit ones.

For starters, licensed Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies do not refer to themselves as “Blue Cross,” “Blue Shield” or “Blue Cross Blue Shield.” We use our corporate or trade names, like Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Unfortunately, robocallers use “spoofing” technology to make a different telephone number show on your phone than the actual number from where the call is placed. That makes it difficult to stop the calls because you never know what number will show up.

“Keeping our members safe from scams is very important to us,” said Curtis Barnett, president and chief executive officer of Arkansas Blue Cross. “We have specific guidelines for outbound calls, and we hope that by sharing this information, we can help our members protect themselves.”

How can you tell if a call is from us?

We will never:

  • Ask for a bank account number*
  • Ask for an entire Social Security number
  • Ask health information without first verifying your identity
  • Call after 9 p.m. (Central time)

We will always:

  • Introduce ourselves and the company we represent
  • Identify your group health plan by name (Example: “This is Mary Jones from Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, calling about your plan with ABC Company … ”)
  • Mention that the call is being recorded for training and quality purposes

If you are not 100% sure a call is from Arkansas Blue Cross, you can take the following steps:

  • Ask for a confirmation number and hang up
  • Call the number listed on the back of your health insurance ID card
  • Provide the confirmation number to the customer service representative who answers and have them direct the call to the person who called initially

*On rare occasions, Arkansas Blue Cross customer service representatives may call customers who have issues with their payments. These representatives will always verify their identities by telling the customer the amount they previously paid.

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