TODAY   |  October 11, 2013

Obamacare scammers target people signing up

As uninsured Americans sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, scam artists are starting to cold-call people demanding personal information while government websites continue to experience glitches and crashes after 11 days. NBC’s Tom Costello reports.

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>>> a warning for anyone who is considering signing up for insurance under the new health care law . nbc's tom costello is in washington this morning with more on that story. tom, good morning.

>> hi, savannah, good morning. they see this every time a new government program rolls out and creates confusion and this new law that requires the uninsured to buy insurance has a lot of people confused and is easy targets for scam artists .

>> reporter: it's been an all out pr push getting americans to sign up for affordable insurance or obama care.

>> good health insurance for the price of your cell phone bill or less.

>> reporter: on twitter, celebs like amy polar, lady gaga joining in. but criminals maybe waiting to pounce.

>> it's a golden opportunity for scam artists to take advantage and scam consumers out of money.

>> reporter: already he is getting reports of scammers cold calling people demanding social security numbers , dates of birth and credit card information and telling those people they could go to jail if they don't buy insurance . not true.

>> if you don't buy insurance through obama care or another insurance plan you're not going to go to jail.

>> reporter: whatever you do, say the experts, don't give personal information or money to anyone that calls or e-mails. arizona attorney general tom horne.

>> hang up on them right away. they're trying to get into your bank and take money from you. it's not legitimate.

>> reporter: meanwhile, the obama care website roll out has been a nightmare. 11 days of glitches, crashes and people that want to buy insurance getting kicked off the site. health care .gov is riddled with software and coding problems.

>> people are wasting hours trying to get through this thing and the obama administration has an obligation to shut it down and bring it back up when it works.

>> reporter: the white house insists millions have visited the site but they're not saying how many have actually enrolled and we have only been able to identify a handful.

>> this say problem that was driven by overwhelming demand from people saying i want to sign up for affordable health care and they're going to be able to.

>> reporter: another problem associated with the obama care roll out, if you want to report you have been targeted by a scam artist you won't get through to the federal trade commission because no one can answer the phone with the government shutdown . back to you.

>> how did we know that would be the punch line? tom costello, thank you so