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Scammers masquerade as Health & Human Services’ officials in new telephone scam targeting senior citizens.

i Mar 3rd No Comments by

A telephone scam in which crooks alter caller ID to make it seem as if the call is coming from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General’s Hotline 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477) to get beneficiaries and members of the public to verify or share personal info which is used to victimize them via financial and other crimes – draining their bank accounts. The Office of the Inspector General wants the public to know that the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General will not use the Hotline telephone number to make outgoing calls and individuals should not answer calls from 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477).

The Office of the Inspector General recently confirmed that the Hotline telephone number is being used as part of a telephone spoofing scam targeting individuals throughout the country. These scammers represent themselves as Department of Health & Human Services’ Hotline employees and can alter the appearance of the caller ID to make it seem as if the call is coming from the Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General Hotline. The perpetrator may use various tactics to obtain or verify the victim’s personal information, which can then be used to steal money from an individual’s bank account or for other fraudulent activity. The Office of the Inspector General takes this matter seriously. We are actively investigating this matter and intend to have the perpetrators prosecuted.

It is important to know that the Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General will not use the Hotline telephone number to make outgoing calls and individuals should not answer calls from 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477). We encourage the public to remain vigilant, protect their personal information, and guard against providing personal information during calls that purport to be from the Hotline telephone number. We also remind the public that it is still safe to call into the Hotline to report fraud.  We particularly encourage those who believe they may have been a victim of the telephone spoofing scam to report that information to us through the Hotline, 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477) or spoof@oig.hhs.gov. Individuals may also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

If you would to learn more, visit: https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/consumer-alerts/alerts/phone-scam.asp