Scammers faking calls from doctors’ offices in attempt to defraud patients

“ID Spoofing” cost consumers $700M in 2021

InvestigateTV - Fraudulent phone calls, or “ID spoofing”, cost consumers nearly $700 million last year, according to the newest data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). ID spoofing is when a scammer calls you pretending to be someone else in an attempt to trick you into divulging personal information. 

Scammers pretend to be someone else, like agents of the government, law enforcement, or even health providers. According to Better Business Bureau (BBB), the latest attack is scammers posing as someone from your doctor’s office and probing for critical information or cash payouts.

Dr. Jonathan Johnson has been practicing for 15 years and said he is passionate about keeping his patients’ private information secure.

“Usually, a physician’s office will not call you without at least establishing some type of face-to-face relationship,” Dr. Johnson said. “If they are contacting you, it’s to remind you of an appointment.”

Monica Horton, a spokesperson for BBB, North Central Texas, warned that your personal information was the scammer’s target.

”So, that’s a phishing attempt coming in via a phone call using spoofing technology to appear to be from the doctor’s office and they’re impersonating the doctor’s office,” Horton said. “They like to get as much personal information as they can.”

Horton said patients have reported calls that threatened the loss of Medicare or demanded up-front payments for doctor visits.

Dr. Johnson and the BBB said a real doctor’s office will usually never ask you for information they could easily find out just by looking at your records, like your social security or Medicare number.

Dr. Johnson further advised patients to do their homework on their providers and to also call them if you have questions about payments or billing.

For a list of reported scams in your area or to report a scam yourself, visit the BBB Scam Tracker.

The FTC offers tips on how to protect yourself from all scams here.

Caresse Jackman

Caresse Jackman

Caresse Jackman is a Consumer Investigative Reporter at WSMV4 and reports on WSMV4’s Call 4 Action team. Call 4 Action is there to help Tennessean’s find solutions to consumer issues and complaints.