Topics: Obamacare

Phone sex line transfers callers to Obamacare

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Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Health and Human Services,Health Care

What do Obamacare and phone sex have in common? Answer: "intimate connections."

By dialing 1-800-382-5968 — a number that differs from Obamacare's line by just two digits — you can reach "our nation's little secret ... intimate connections."

An obliging voice gives you the option to press two to hear the phone number that President Obama read out during his press conference on the woes of healthcare.gov.

Press three, and the phone sex service transfers you to the government line. (Option 1, naturally, asks for your personal preferences and a credit card number to verify your age.)

Intimate connections

Click here to hear what it sounds like when you dial 1-800-382-5968.

Yahoo! Answers has featured multiple questions about the "Obamacre sex hotline" (sic), but the threads have been deleted.

It's not clear if civic-mindedness alone accounts for the "intimate connections" redirect to the health insurance exchange call center.

"[I]t stands to reason that a legitimate company would only provide option '2' in order to get the caller off the line," a retired cyber security expert who told the Washington Examiner of the phone line said, given the cost of paying for enrollment phone calls.

An entity that transferred callers to the health insurance marketplace phone line would have the opportunity to execute a "man in the middle attack," according to the expert, who explained that the identity thief who transfers a caller to a legitimate phone line has the ability to record the phone call and thus capture the private information provided by the caller.

"This is a popular method used by identity thieves because it is virtually impossible to detect while it is happening because the caller reaches the correct destination," the expert, who asked not to be identified, said.

"Also, individuals who become a victim of identity thief or other phone or email scams will never suspect that the call to Obamacare was the source of their lost identity, thus the squatters rarely get caught."

The confusion is made possible by the fact that Health and Human Services officials, perhaps because they expected the exchange websites to function properly, didn't come up with a catchy phone number for Obamacare.

While the phone number for Medicare phone number is 1-800-MEDICARE, for instance, President Obama had to send people to 1-800-318-2596 -- a number that comes perilously close to spelling "f*** you."

"Intimate Connections" is more brand-conscious, though, so the phone sex number spells exactly that.

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