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Consumer Protection Alert – HHS OIG Hotline Telephone Number Used in Scam

Consumer Protection Alert – HHS OIG Hotline Telephone Number Used in Scam

WMSK Staff

March 7th, 2017

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently confirmed that the HHS OIG Hotline telephone number is being used as part of a telephone spoofing scam targeting individuals throughout the country. These scammers represent themselves as HHS OIG Hotline employees and can alter the appearance of the caller ID to make it seem as if the call is coming from the HHS OIG Hotline 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477). 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. HHS OIG takes this matter seriously. We are actively investigating this matter and intend to have the perpetrators prosecuted.

It is important to know that HHS OIG will not use the HHS OIG 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 HHS OIG Hotline telephone number. We also remind the public that it is still safe to call into the HHS OIG 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 HHS OIG 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).

Protect Yourself

Do not provide any personal information to unknown individuals, including any of the following information:

• a social security number

• date of birth

• credit card information

• driver’s license number

• bank account information

• mother’s maiden name

Do not verify your name or any other personal information. Be extremely cautious.

Report the Scam

If you are a victim of the telephone spoofing scam, contact the HHS OIG Hotline or file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

Be sure to include:

• date and time you received scam the call

• any other details from the scam call

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