7/16/2014 6:00:00 AM Fraudulent callers target medical information
Special to the Times
SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is warning the public today 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 such a call is received, 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 http://oag.ca.gov/contact/consumer-complaint-against-business-or-company to report the call. Consumers can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/.