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At the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), we’re trying to get the word out about a problem that may or not be growing but certainly is troubling: Questionable purveyors of long-term care insurance (LTCI) leads.

We’ve been using a variety of methods, including press releases, to try to let agents know that we‘ve been getting more calls from insurance agents who believe they have been bilked by LTCI lead sellers.

In all of these cases, the agents already have paid for the leads through electronic fund transfers, and there’s usually no easy way for the agents to get their money back.

LTCI leads from reputable suppliers may cost about $55 to $75 each. If someone is offering you LTCI leads for less than $5 each, we believe that’s sign that the offer is probably too good to be true.

New producers may be especially vulnerable to that kind of scam.

In a case like this, Google is your friend.

Search for the name of the lead purveyor by itself, and the company name together with “Rip Off Reports.”

Another way to protect yourself is to be active in AALTCI and other groups for agents and brokers, and online LTCI producer message boards. Your colleagues might be a good source of advice about lead sellers.

A third way to protect yourself is to think about how the lead seller gets paid. If the lead seller is insisting that you pay through electronic fund transfers, and only through electronic fund transfers, that might be a sign the company has gotten into too much trouble with the credit card companies to take credit cards.

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