NC Attorney General Josh Stein on ACA Protection & Fraud Prevention

Feb 17, 2022 | Attorney General, Featured, Government Relations, LivingPower, March-April 2022, Money, Resources

Attorney General Josh Stein

February 2022

As your attorney general, it’s an honor for me to go to work every day to protect the people of North Carolina. My colleagues at the Department of Justice and I are dedicated to making North Carolinians’ lives better. You all understand the reward that comes from public service because you have also devoted your lives to serving others – thank you. As attorney general, please know that I am committed to safeguarding the rights of older or retired North Carolinians.

That includes fighting to make sure you can receive affordable quality health care. I have fought to defend the Affordable Care Act all the way to the Supreme Court – and won. The ACA protects more than 4 million North Carolinians from being discriminated against because of their pre-existing conditions, and it saves more than 1.8 million North Carolina seniors more than $1,100 a year on drug costs on average. Health care is a basic right, and I’ll continue to defend it. 

Additionally, my Consumer Protection Division works to protect seniors, students, and consumers from frauds and scams. During my time as attorney general, my office has won back more than $2.5 billion through consumer and taxpayer relief for the people of North Carolina. 

Fraudsters often prey on older or vulnerable populations to try to scam you out of your hard-earned money. In 2021 alone, my office received more than 1,000 complaints of elder fraud. 

Of course, the issue I hear about the most is robocalls. They are a scourge that disrupt our peace of mind every single day, and worse, rob people of their hard-earned money. Last year, North Carolinians filed more than 10,000 robocall reports with my office. That’s why I’m leading a nationwide group of 51 attorneys general and 15 phone companies to push the phone companies to put technology in place that prevents these robocalls from coming to your phone in the first place. 

And we’re also working together to hold these scammers accountable for their behavior. This January, I brought a lawsuit against telephone service provider Articul8 and its owner Paul K. Talbot for allowing tens of millions of illegal robocalls from international callers on the U.S. telephone network. The only way telemarketers can inundate our phones with robocalls is with the complicity of these gateway phone companies. These phone companies turn a blind eye to illegal robocalls in order to make money on each call. It’s wrong. It violates state and federal law, and I won’t tolerate it.

But the best thing you can do to protect yourself is watch out for the common warning signs of a scam: 

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 
  • A lot of exciting offers require you to make a small advance payment first. Don’t fall for it.
  • Don’t give your bank account or Social Security number to anyone you don’t know. 
  • If you get a call or email from someone you don’t recognize, or from a company you may do business with, examine it closely. Call or email the business back through a number or website you know to be legitimate. 
  • Pay with your credit card when you purchase so you can dispute a purchase if needed.
  • If you’re feeling pressured or something doesn’t feel right, pause and verify with someone you trust. 

I encourage you to visit our website at www.ncdoj.gov to learn more about how you can recognize the signs of a scam and protect yourself. If you have questions or think you might have been victimized by a scammer, report it to my office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or ncdoj.gov/complaint

As your attorney general, I’ll go after anyone who breaks the law to harm North Carolinians. And I’ll continue to fight to protect your rights and make sure we all have the opportunity to pursue our dreams, take care of those we love, be a part of strong, stable communities, and live out our lives with dignity. Thank you for your service to our state and its people.

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