From: Attorney General Roy Cooper Alerts

Scammers fake Caller ID to pose as health care providers

Watch out for crooks manipulating Caller ID to pose as hospital staff or health insurance representatives. Scammers are using this ploy to try to pry Social Security numbers and other private, confidential information from you or to sell you products.

North Carolinians living in the Onslow County area recently got calls like these from scammers posing as officials with Onslow Memorial Hospital or TRICARE, which provides health insurance for members of the military. While former patients sometimes get legitimate follow-up calls from the hospital to check on their status or to get insurance information, hospitals won’t call to sell you something or seek data like Social Security numbers that should already be in their files.

To avoid this scam:

  • Always be skeptical of unsolicited calls, and don’t rely on Caller ID to help you decide if a call is legitimate since scammers can fake the number that appears.

  • Don’t share your personal, private information unless you are absolutely positive you are talking to a real health care worker who has a legitimate need for the information.

  • If you can’t tell if a call is legitimate, hang up. Next, dial the hospital, your health care provider or your insurance company using a telephone number you know is valid, such as one listed on a recent bill, in the phone book, or on the organization’s website.

Report possible scams to the Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint online at www.ncdoj.gov.

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