(KMOV) – The numbers were released and they were worse than expected. Fewer than 27,000 people nationwide managed to enroll at the federal government website for the Affordable Care Act.
More than 1,300 of those were from Illinois and only 751 in Missouri.
That’s about the same number of cyber-squatters, experts say have set up fake Obamacare websites hoping to steal personal information.
“It’s the scammers dream it's the fraudsters dream,” said Scott Granneman. He’s a computer expert and professor at Washington University. He said there are bad guys all over the internet looking for ways to steal your information.
“If I were a bad guy and healthcare.gov is in the news and everybody’s got to register and people are kind of tense and in a hurry trying to fill it out and they also know there are some problems with the website; that’s going to play right into my hands,” said Granneman.
Granneman said the scammers will make similar-looking sites but if users notice any differences at all, that should be the first clue. The best defense is to always check the address bar, making sure it says www.healthcare.gov and not dot-com, dot-org, dot-net or any other variation.
"Studies have shown up to 25 percent of people don't ever look at the address bar that's like driving blind. If you don't look at the address bar you, don't where you are or where you're going,” said Granneman.
News 4’s Sharon Reed asked Chris Thetford of the Better Business Bureau what to do if users submit their information on the wrong site.
“People need to monitor their credit reports, monitor their checking accounts and they need to monitor their credit card accounts to see if there is any activity going on that they themselves have not authorized that will tell you if your identity has been compromised,”
Granneman received a fake email offering to help direct him to an ACA website. He said just like Bill Gates does send emails offering millions of dollars, the government does not send out emails directing you to websites.