Fraudulent callers target medical information

posted Aug 3, 2014, 6:15 AM by Wayne Wieseler   [ updated Aug 3, 2014, 6:19 AM ]

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is warning the public this month about fraudulent phone callers
seeking to deceive people into revealing sensitive personal health and financial information. The callers, who claim to be representatives of CDPH, contact people to inquire about a surgery or medical procedure in hopes of obtaining personal information such as bank accounts and medical history. CDPH does not make such calls.

Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the CDPH and state health officer, said the public needs to be careful about sharing their personal information.

“People should be cautious about unsolicited phone calls regarding their personal health,” said Dr. Chapman. “These
callers can be very convincing but no one should ever give out their financial or medical information during an initial
telephone call. If you receive one of these calls, you should hang up immediately and report it.”

Based on complaints received by CDPH, the callers are often male with heavy foreign accents and primarily target women, some of whom may have had surgical mesh or bladder sling surgery. The callers may hint at offers of compensation and attempt to lure consumers into giving out private information.

If you receive such a call, do not provide the caller with any personal information such as your address, date
of birth, social security number, any banking or credit card information, or any health-related information.

Instead, hang up and contact the Attorney General’s Office at (800) 952-5225 or online at Attorney General's Office to report the call. Consumers can also file a complaint with the
Federal Trade Commission at File A Complaint.