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Scammers target confused consumers ahead of Affordable Care implementationSubmitted: 09/16/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

Scammers target confused consumers ahead of Affordable Care implementation
RHINELANDER - People looking for more information on the Affordable Care Act need to watch out for scammers.

In Wisconsin, people will be able to search for a healthcare plan on the state exchange website October first. But a lot of people still don't know what they need to do, or how the new law affects them.

Scammers are taking advantage of that confusion. They're posing as "navigators". That's someone who helps you negotiate, and buy your new insurance plan. Consumer protection groups have seen this before.

"Any time there's a large government program that is rolling out you tend to see scam artists who want to take advantage of consumer confusion over these large programs and what they mean for them. So we saw similar scams, for example, when Medicare Part D went into effect. After that when the Affordable Care Act was first passed, we saw these types of scams popping up, and again when the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act," says John Breyault, from the National Consumers League.

The scammers will ask for information like a credit card or bank account number so you can pay for the insurance they find for you.

But protection groups want you to remember one thing:

"Navigators are not going to call them out of the blue and ask them for this kind of personal information. So if they receive a phone call from someone claiming to be with Obamacare, or being a navigator and they start asking for that sort of information, or worse yet, asking you to send them money so you can buy this insurance, be suspicious. Hang up and report the scam," says Breyault.

You can report the scam with the National Consumers League at fraud.org. If you want more information on the Affordable Care Act you can visit healthcare.gov.



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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/29/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

On this Memoria Day, we take you on the Honor Flight to Washington D.C. with a Vietnam veteran from Arbor Vitae.

A Tripoli resident found a plaque in his home that turned out to be for a veteran of World War I and World War II. We'll show you what the American Legion in Tomahawk did with the plaque to honor the veteran.

And a three thousand acre wildlife area about 10 miles west of Rhinelander is managed by the DNR, but now it's getting help to care for the land from a local sportsmen group. We'll show you how the Wisconsin River Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society is helping to preserve the area.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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ARBOR VITAE - Firefighters never leave the station without their gear because they know it could save their lives. That's why it's important they have the best equipment.

Arbor Vitae Fire and Rescue recently put 11 sets of brand new turnout gear into service. Fire Chief Mike VanMeter says the new gear replaces the 12 year old equipment they've been using.

VanMeter also says newer houses are using more plastic, which generates hydrocarbons in the smoke and can harm firefighters. This new gear will help keep firefighters safer.

"To protect out firefighters from these toxic carcinogens so the newer gear is actually built to a better standard to help protect firefighters from those toxic chemicals," said VanMeter.

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ST. GERMAIN - A popular Northwoods tradition draws in thousands of flea market fans.

Visitors from near and far attend the St. Germain Flea Market each year in search of treasures old and new. There's something for everyone.

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ARBOR VITAE - Firefighters in Vilas County called a trailer home a total loss.

Jane Fosch left her home to visit family Monday. 

Not too long after, her house was up in flames.

Jane's daughter- in- law, Linda Fosch, was at the home just before the fire started.

When she returned a few minutes later she saw crowds of people and smoke surrounding the home.

Fosch says she thinks the fire started in either the kitchen or bedroom.

"I went down to my brother in law's house [when I came back] there were all kinds of people and smoke by the house. So it happened that fast after I left," said Fosch. 

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WOODRUFF - Anyone with a craving for "Chicago Style" hot dogs or french fries know they can count on Hoggie Doggies in Woodruff.

This season, dedicated customers will see a new face behind the counter.

This month Steve Pletta celebrated his first season as the owner of Hoggie Doggies.

Pletta's been in the food business for 30 years working at schools and big institutions.

But this is his first venture on his own.

"Food is common to me, but owning a small business like this is a new adventure," said Pletta.

Pletta said the community has welcomed him with open arms, and the transition to owner went smoothly. 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Nearly 60,000 names line the walls of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, more than eight million men and women served in the Vietnam-Era conflicts in the 1960s and early 1970s. More than seven million veterans who served in the Vietnam War are alive today.

Last week more than 80 Vietnam-era veterans from north-central Wisconsin boarded the 28th Never Forgotten Honor Flight.

To them, those 60,000 names are personal.

"I've lost some good friends," said Gerald Streeter, a Vietnam veteran from Arbor Vitae. "Great people."

Streeter served in the Marine Corps in the early 1960s, before the Vietnam conflict began to ramp up.
Streeter was also sent to Panama after the Bay of Pigs Invasion and then was sent to a Pacific island for nuclear tests. He recalls hearing of two people who died in helicopter crashes.

"We thought that was terrible that two people were already killed because of Vietnam," Streeter said. "And a short time later another one went missing. One was my drill instructor in boot camp."

Sometimes it can be hard for veterans to find the name of their fallen friends on the wall.

"You called them by last name or the rank and last name, but you never used first names," Streeter said. "So trying to locate on this wall the ones that I was aquainted with I can't find. I've tried several times with the books and manuals they have, the directories. Just unable to find them."

Streeter says his experiences don't measure up to what his younger brother endured. John Streeter, who was also on the Flight, joined the Marine Corps and went to Vietnam in 1965, according to his brother.

"He saw the worst, did the worst," Streeter said. "He was a door gunner on medivac helicopters. He's my hero."

If you want more information about the Never Forgotten Honor Flight, the link to its website is at the bottom of this page.


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MARINETTE - A Wisconsin attorney has decided to resign, saying an unmanageable workload and a lack of resources is driving him away.

WLUK-TV reports that Marinette County District Attorney Allen Brey is resigning next month. He and other Wisconsin prosecutors have been asking for more resources for years.

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