BALTIMORE, MD — Maryland’s Consumer Protection Division Warns Residents Scammers ‘Spoof’ Phone Numbers of Local Hospitals and Utilities in an attempt to steal personal and medical information, such as Medicare numbers , Medicaid and / or Social Security, by phone.
Some of the scammers are threatening to end Medicare benefits unless the recipient of the call provides personal information over the phone.
Since these incoming calls appear legitimate on the recipient’s Caller ID, these scams are a particularly dangerous type of deception. The crooks hope they can trick potential victims into answering the phone by spoofing legitimate phone numbers.
For those who receive an unexpected phone call that displays the name of a local hospital, medical facility, doctor’s office, or utility, the attorney general recommends letting the call go to voicemail . Individuals can then call the hospital or utility directly – using a phone number listed on an official website – to ask if they have called.
If an unsolicited caller requests personal information, such as SSNs or Medicare / Medicaid numbers, hang up immediately.
Medicare does not ask for personal information over the phone or make threatening calls. For questions about Medicare benefits, call Medicare at 1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227). ATS users can call 1-877-486-2048.
Report any suspected health-related scams to the Health Education and Advocacy Unit at 410-528-1840. Other suspected scams can be reported to the Ombudsman Unit’s consumer helpline at 410-528-8662. Hotline in Spanish: 410-230-1712.
Anyone who has disclosed personal information is advised to call the Identity Theft Unit at 410-576-6491 or [email protected]