Phishing — (fishing) n. The act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. The e-mail directs the user to visit a Web site where they are asked to update personal information, such as passwords and credit card, social security, and bank account numbers, that the legitimate organization already has. The Web site, however, is bogus and set up only to steal the user’s information.
This, has happened to the DC Healthlink website, also known as the “healthcare exchange website” for those working in the District of Columbia, and apparently the most at risk are Congressional staffers.
The D.C. insurance exchange where thousands of Hill aides are shopping has confirmed that an outside scammer is redirecting customers to a fraudulent website.
Some shoppers are being directed from the insurance website to an outside site that appears nearly identical to the real exchange, officials confirmed Friday. The fraud is widespread enough that they’re considering adding disclaimers to its website to warn users against divulging their check card or PIN numbers.
“Yes, we have heard of it. There is definitely a phishing scam from an outside source,” said Richard Sorian, a spokesman for D.C. Health Link.
One Senate staffer said that after trying and failing to log onto the website multiple times, he was redirected to a separate page where he was asked for his check card number and PIN. After calling customer service, he was told the web page was a scam.
The website is a juicy target for hackers and other digital thieves at the moment due to a Monday deadline where all Congressional staffers who weren’t given exemptions from their bosses (i.e. Harry Reid’s senior staff) must be enrolled into the exchange. Naturally, technical glitches and other issues with the website has let to crashes — down most of Thursday — false information, and other problems.
The most common problem, has been the website has been completely screwing up database information that’s entered into it. A friend I have who works in the Senate told me that after he enrolled, the website informed him he had successfully enrolled a policy for three people — himself, himself, and his wife.
Yes, it counted him twice.
White House to Millennials: “Talk about health care at Happy Hour!”
During today’s White House Youth Summit, President Obama called on young people to do whatever they can to promote his signature health care law — including plying their customers with cheap booze.
“If you are a bartender, have a happy hour,” Obama said as the crowd laughed. “And also probably get health insurance because a lot of people don’t have it.”
Obama also encouraged young people who are student body presidents or workers at nonprofit organizations to help people get enrolled.
“If you’ve got a radio show, spread the word on air,” Obama added.
Obama called on young people’s sense of patriotism to join the cause.
“[The] bottom line is that I’m going to need you, the country needs you,” Obama said, reminding them that their friends and peers might not know the benefits of Obamacare.
What’s the old statement about patriotism again? Something about being the last refuge of the scoundrel and all?
What exactly are college student body presidents (quite often the future foot soldiers for liberalism) going to say? The average college student has traditionally been covered under their parents’ health insurance plans. With the much-advertised “slacker provision,” that now allows them to stay on through the age of 26.
It sort of has made the whole “under 25 market” a moot point, hasn’t it?
Best of luck with the peer-to-peer marketing there. Consider it a life lesson when all your friends abandon the bar for another one while you’re in the bathroom.
Legislators passed an overhaul of the state public-employee retirement system Tuesday, cutting benefits for workers and retirees in a move that sets up a likely court battle with organized labor.
Supporters say the Illinois pension legislation is expected to save $160 billion and will fully fund the retirement system over 30 years.
“We’re here today because the cost of our present state systems are simply too rich for the resources available,” said House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Democrat.
Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, is expected to sign the bill into law.
Illinois has seen its credit rating fall in recent years to the lowest among U.S. states as it has struggled to address a gap in its pension funds that is nearing $100 billion.
The measure also gives Chicago officials a template to follow as they move to address the city’s own pension crisis; Chicago’s credit rating is among the lowest for major U.S. cities.
“The pension crisis is not truly solved until relief is brought to Chicago,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Without providing the same relief to local governments, we know that taxpayers, employees, and the future of our state and local economies will remain at risk.”
The Illinois overhaul package relies on benefit cuts, including reducing the annual cost-of-living increase for retirees and raising the retirement age for younger workers.
Ironically, the plan is being attacked on two fronts. Organized labor (as expected) is screaming bloody murder about the changes and plans on going to go to court to challenge the law as soon as the ink on Quinn’s signature is dry.
On the other side is the few conservative think tanks which operate in and around Springfield, which don’t think the legislation goes far enough to keep the state from eventually having to file for bankruptcy. They’ve called the bill a bandage on a open wound which will not be enough.
I tend to agree with the think tanks here, but the reality that Illinois is even doing this given all the “hey” Quinn tried to make about Act 10 in 2011, is kind of nice to enjoy.
Mort Zuckerman has been many things in his life. A columnist, a magazine publisher, a businessman, an Obama voter, a philanthropist, depending on the day of the week; either a Republican or Democrat.
He also was at one time, part-owner of the Washington Redskins and was asked about the recent efforts to get the team to change its name, led by both the New York and Wisconsin bands of the Oneida tribe. He didn’t mince words:
One-time Washington Redskins part-owner Mortimer Zuckerman has joined those who think the offensive word in the team’s name isn’t “Redskins.”
The U.S. News & World Report and New York Daily News owner suggests that to keep the dignity of the team’s name, owner Daniel Snyder ought to remove “Washington.”
Discussing his brief partnership with Snyder as a Skins part-owner, Zuckerman, most known for his real estate empire and Boston Properties REIT, addressed a Washington Post question about the name controversy.
Q: Should the Redskins change their name?
Zuckerman: You have to be empathetic to people who are insulted by the name, and I certainly am. But it’s been such a part of Washington for so long, I don’t think it has the sort of implication, the denigration or the diminution that some people might suggest. And my view is, if you want to change the name because of that, take out the name Washington.
Never said he didn’t have a sense of humor.
How bad if the “Healthcare.Gov” website?
So bad that if you somehow got in and actually enrolled, and paid for a policy, it might not be sent to you because the data collection end of the URL is so corrupt, it might not properly send all the information an insurance company needs to give you the policy you purchased.