One of our clients shared a very scary story with us. He is a physician that owns a successful clinic here in the North Texas area. Earlier this month, while he was working with a patient an employee interrupted him with a report that he had an urgent call. He stepped out of the exam room to take the call and on the other end of the phone was someone with a heavy accent claiming to be an officer with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This ‘Officer’ informed him that he was under investigation for an opioid scam. The scammers relayed a myriad of facts about the physician’s practice including details about his federal prescription ID and medical license. It sounded convincing but thankfully the provider knew that all the information that the scammer recited is available through public databases. The physician was then immediately pressured to start releasing sensitive information to this ‘officer’. During this initial conversation, the scammer told the physician to ‘keep this under wraps’ because anyone, including his own staff members, may be involved. Fortunately, our client took the wise path and derailed this threat. I wanted to share with you how he tackled this threat so you and your staff can avoid becoming a victim of these scammers.
The truth is these types of scams are happening more frequently and the perpetrators are getting more aggressive. They are presenting themselves as authority figures from government agencies. Three of the most popular agencies that these scammers are impersonating include the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Social Security Administration (SSA).
Some common traits of these scams are that they present the situation as ‘urgent’ and that if action is not taken immediately there will be serious repercussions. Our client took control of the situation by getting the scammer’s phone number and telling them that he would call them back. He immediately called his attorney who had experience with this type of scam. The lawyer called back the scammers and as soon as he identified himself as our client’s attorney the scammer hung up.
Read more about the signs of a scam, steps to avoid the scam, and other examples of fraud in this blogpost here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/dont-fall-stephen-cracknell-/
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