Missouri SMP warns about national telephone spoofing scam

Date: March 9, 2017 | Category: News

The Missouri Senior Medicare Patrol issued this warning for consumers to be wary of scam artists who call their phone numbers claiming to be a federal agency.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently confirmed that its hotline telephone number is being used as part of a telephone spoofing scam targeting individuals throughout the country.
The 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. The agency is investigating this matter and intends to have the perpetrators prosecuted.
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).
The SMP is warning people to protect their personal information, and refuse to provide it during calls that purport to be from the HHS OIG Hotline telephone number. It is safe, however, to call into the HHS OIG Hotline to report
fraud. If you believe you may have been a victim of the telephone spoofing scam, report it through the HHS OIG Hot-line 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.
The Missouri SMP program, also known as the Senior Medicare Patrol program, helps Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries prevent, detect, and report health care fraud. In doing so, the program helps protect older people and promotes integrity in the Medicare program. If you think you may be the victim of Medicare fraud or abuse, call the SMP at 1-888 -515-6565.
The SMP Program is funded by a grant from the Administration on Aging, Department of Health & Human Services. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings & conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not therefore necessarily represent official Administration on Aging policy.