New scam targets pharmacy customers

By Greg Collier

Previously, we’ve seen scammers posing as some kind of debt collector. In most cases, the scammers pose as some type of government or law enforcement agent trying to collect a phony fine. They do this so they can put emotional pressure on the victim and scare them into making a payment. Scammers will also pose as utility companies who are threatening to shut off your service if you don’t make a payment then and there. Now, it seems that scammers are branching out into another area of the commercial space that a number of people depend on.

In Southern California, a number of consumers have reported getting a call from their local pharmacy, specifically CVS. The call states that the victim has a substantial balance with the pharmacy. As with most scams, this scam seems to be targeting the elderly., traditionally a group of people who are dependent on their prescriptions. Imagine being dependent on a drug like insulin only to be told you owe the pharmacy hundreds of dollars.

The call itself is a robocall where an automated voice message tells the victim that they owe CVS money. The recording tells the victims to call a ‘helpline’ to resolve the matter. The helpline is not a phone number that belongs to CVS. One victim called the helpline and couldn’t tell the victim which CVS had filled the prescription in question.

While the report we’ve read doesn’t give a specific motive behind the scam, we imagine it’s to get money from its victims. It’s safe to assume that the scammers probably would have asked for payment in gift cards, money transfer, or prepaid debit cards. They could also be after medical coverage information to potentially commit Medicare fraud.

If you receive one of these calls, the best thing to do is hang up. Then call your local pharmacy to make sure there isn’t a real issue with your pharmacy account.