Ohio Department of Health warns of phone scam

The Ohio Department of Health is warning residents about a phone scam where callers pose as health department staff asking for personal information.

The callers use ID spoofing technology to make it appear that they are calling from a credible phone number, including appearing to call from the state health department or at least one local health department. Other callers have reported the scammers are posing as workers with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or a hospital or other health care provider.

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The scammers often have some personal information about the individuals they are calling, such as name, date of birth, address and the name of the person’s physician, according to the health department.

  • If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency seeking personal information, hang up and find a phone number on the company’s or government agency’s website to call to verify the authenticity of the request.
  • Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden name, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
  • Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately. • You can block the caller’s phone number to try to prevent follow up calls – although the caller may call back from a different phone number.
  • File a complaint online with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov/complaint.

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Since this scam includes caller ID spoofing of a state agency, the Ohio Highway Patrol is investigating these calls.

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