Targeted at Central Pantry: Man reacts to being taken by insurance scammer
COLUMBIA - A man who says he was conned by someone he met at the Central Pantry in Columbia feels lucky he didn't lose more money.
"This is a guy that preyed on people when they were already vulnerable," said Andrew Liebig, a 20-year-old Columbia resident. "You got people that go to the food pantry, some of them are homeless. You got some of them that go and, like me, are low income, and this guy preyed on us."
Liebig visits Central Pantry in Columbia once every few months.
“When things get tight I still gotta eat,” Liebig said.
On one visit to the pantry, he said, he was greeted by a man, identified as Kyle McClain, who pitched him an assistance plan for medical or dental care. Liebig has dentures that weren’t fitting properly, so he signed up.
At least three other people did the same, and Liebig, from the look of the sign up list, it appears McClain may have made a pitch to even more.
“There were two or three pages of names,” he said.
Liebig said he had a home appointment with McClain, and was led to believe signing up for an United Healthcare insurance plan would provide him additional services from Midwest Special Needs Trust.
Kathy Birkes, the executive director of Midwest Special Needs Trust, said that organization does not have agents that assist with their initiatives.
“We are a non-profit charitable trust program that provides grants to low-income or disabled Missouri citizens,” Birkes said.
Liebig said he called the organization because he had suspicions about the additional services he had been sold. That’s when he found out the services were fraudulent.
“I only had that insurance for a month luckily,” Liebig said.
He paid a total of $160 to $170, he said.
Three other victims of the fraudulent insurance scheme have been identified during an investigation.
These people paid to have United Healthcare, but a part of the services they thought they were getting were not covered.
“I learned to double check everybody,” Liebig said.
McClain is charged with deceptive business practices. He will have a preliminary hearing in court Monday and Liebig said he plans to be there.