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  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 27, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: medical license, medical scams, , physical therapist,   

    Healthcare professional loses life savings in licensing scam 

    Healthcare professional loses life savings in licensing scam

    By Greg Collier

    The scam we’re talking about today doesn’t affect every day consumers all that much. It’s geared more toward medical professionals. By medical professionals we mean any healthcare worker who requires a license to do their job. This not only includes doctors but also nurses and many other healthcare workers. However, this particular scam is a great example of how far con artists are willing to go to steal money from their victims.

    The licensing scam is not new. It’s been targeting medical professionals for a while now. Typically, a scammer will contact a licensed healthcare worker while posing as someone from their state government. The scammers will tell the healthcare worker that their license has been suspended due to a drug trafficking investigation. Sometimes the scammers will even go as far as to confuse the victim with official looking paperwork. The scammers will then try to pressure the victim into making some kind of payment so the healthcare worker can preserve their license.

    This recently happened to a physical therapist in Michigan. Scammers told her that her license was in jeopardy because it had been used in a drug trafficking scheme that had also laundered $2.4 million. They told her to go to the nearest UPS Store to receive notification in writing. The letter she received appeared to be on official letterhead from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. The scammers even posed as agents from the LARA and the FBI. They convinced the physical therapist that she could spend six months in jail if she did not sign a federal bond agreement with the Department of Justice. This bond agreement was then paid by money transfer. The amount she paid to the scammers was not disclosed but was said to be her family’s life savings.

    The lengths these scammers went to has to be marveled at. The thing is with scams like this is they don’t have to fool many people. They only need to fool a few who are willing to pay large sums of money.

    And again, if anyone was under investigation for drug trafficking, you would be visited by law enforcement personally and wouldn’t just receive a phone call. Also, law enforcement agencies whether local, statewide, or federal will never ask for any kind of payment over the phone while simultaneously threatening arrest. If you receive a phone call like this, hang up and call whatever agency the caller is claiming to be from.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 25, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , medical scams, , , vaccination card,   

    Fake vaccine cards are showing up online 

    Fake vaccine cards are showing up online

    By Greg Collier

    Previously, the Better Business Bureau warned people who received the COVID-19 vaccine not to post pictures of their vaccine cards on social media. The thought behind this was not only could these pictures potentially lead to identity theft, but scammers could make phony vaccine cards. Now it seems that one of those chickens has come home to roost.

    The Better Business Bureau of Illinois is reporting that blank vaccine card knockoffs have started appearing for sale online. Reports state that the phony cards have shown up on eBay, OfferUp, and of course Craigslist. The cards are being sold for as much as $200.

    The danger behind these cards are the fact there are people who actively avoiding getting the vaccine. Vaccine cards may start being required for things like air travel or public gatherings. If unvaccinated people are start using these cards to get around restrictions, we could potentially start seeing another wave of infections. Considering the number of people who won’t even wear a mask to the supermarket, these cards could constitute a serious health hazard to the population. Not only that, but the cards could allow unvaccinated people who are potentially carrying the disease to return to public places like job sites or schools to spread new strains of the virus to unsuspecting victims.

    If you’re thinking about buying one of these cards you may want to rethink your plan. Using falsified government documents is a crime. Keep in mind that the authentic cards are furnished by the CDC, a branch of the American government. If someone were to use one of these cards to get on a plane, and they get caught, they could be facing a pretty big fine or even jail time.

    Instead, why not just get the vaccine when it becomes available for you in your state. The shot is a lot cheaper than buying one of these phony cards, and it won’t land you in jail.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , medical expenses, medical scams, ,   

    Family dealing with cancer plagued by scammers 

    Family dealing with cancer plagued by scammers

    By Greg Collier

    We’ve been writing about scams and scammers for a while now. You’d think we wouldn’t be surprised by any type of scam anymore or how pervasive they’ve become. Yet, we’re about to tell you about one of the most disheartening scams we’ve ever heard of.

    There is a family in Warwick, Rhode Island who are dealing with one of the most challenging things a family can go through. Their two-year-old son is battling a rare form of cancer. The community has come together to support the family. Not only through a GoFundMe but the local police are also collecting donations for the child’s medical expenses.

    Unfortunately, these days wherever there is hardship there’s someone looking to take advantage of the situation. In this case, there have been a few someones who have been trying to profit from this family’s struggle. As we previously mentioned, the only two official places where donations are being collected are GoFundMe and the local police department. However, multiple scammers have used the toddler’s name to try to collect money for themselves. Scammers are said to be using both Instagram and Cash App to falsely claim they’re collecting money for the two-year-old.

    If that wasn’t bad enough, scammers even approached the two-year-old’s father. He says that he received a text message from someone posing as the child’s doctor asking for money for the child’s healthcare. No family should have to deal with the anguish of worrying about both a child with cancer and the expenses that entails let alone having to deal with scammers who are potentially taking money that could have gone to the boy’s medical bills.

    It’s sad that we have to be skeptical about charity, but that’s the world we live in today. I’m certain that has caused many people to stop donating to worthy causes because of the number of scammers who pose as charities. You can still give to charity, you just need to do a little research first.

    If you can afford it and find it in your heart you can donate to the boy’s treatment fund at this GoFundMe.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on February 25, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: medical scams, , , ,   

    Scam tries to extort medical professionals 

    Scam tries to extort medical professionals

    By Greg Collier

    Scammers still haven’t gotten tired of COVID-19 related scams yet. However, instead of targeting the general public, some scammers have decided to go after medical professionals in the scammer’s quest for ill-gotten gain.

    This scam is similar to the Social Security scam where the scammers claim that your Social Security number has been suspended due to some fictitious crime that your number was supposedly attached to.

    In this scam, scammers are contacting nurses, physicians and pharmacists posing as the state of New York to tell the victims that their licenses have been suspended. However, a substantial payment just happens to be able to revers the suspension and can avoid the licensee any future fines.

    It’s not lost on us that these scammers are going after frontline workers in a state that has one of the highest concentration of COVID-19 patients. This is an example of a couple of scammer tactics. One is to try to pressure and already overworked system and the other is to take advantage of any crisis no matter how horrible.

    In this instance, the scammers are flooding their victims with mounds of official-looking paperwork that appear to be from such agencies as the state, the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI, Trans Union and the New York state Office of Professions. The problem with this paperwork is that it can look legitimate since they contain information like the professional’s National Provider Identifier.

    In the long run, scammers may not be after money but instead after the personal information of medical professionals as most of the forms ask for Social Security numbers and the like.

    It is recommended that anyone receiving one of these calls or messages to ignore it and report it to the FBI if you’ve lost money, or the FTC and local police if you haven’t.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 8, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , medical scams, ,   

    Scams around the vaccine start to emerge 

    Scams around the vaccine start to emerge

    Previously, when the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine was announced, we discussed potential scams that could emerge during the rollout. Some of these scams are no longer theoretical as scammers have begun to try to find new victims.

    While each state has their own distribution schedule, one thing remains constant across the country. The COVID-19 vaccine will be afforded to most people at no cost outside a small administration fee charged by some providers. Historically, these administration fees have been largely negligible. This fact hasn’t stopped scammers from using a promise of the vaccine from stealing your money or information.

    In Missouri, scammers are posing as contact tracers and called at least one victim to tell them that the victim had been exposed at a local business. The scammer than read off the victim’d credit card number to them and asked for the three-digit security code. Legitimate contact tracers will never ask for your financial information.

    Upstate New York is said to be experiencing a similar scam. Scammers are not only posing as contact tracers, they are also asking for information such as your driver’s license number along with other identifying information. According to officials, contact tracers will only ask for your name, address, date of birth and phone number. They will never ask for your Social Security number.

    In Florida, one particular scam is disturbing. At least one scammer has been driving around in a van claiming to be from the county health department. He’s been going to people’s houses and asking residents for copies of their insurance cards in preparation for receiving the vaccine. Again, the vaccine is free and health insurance is not required to receive it.

    If you have concerns about when you’ll be able to receive the vaccine you can usually check with your state or county’s health department website.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 17, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , medical scams, ,   

    More COVID vaccine scams are on their way 

    More COVID vaccine scams are on their way

    We’ve already posted about scams that are expected to follow the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Even more scams are now expected if they haven’t started already.

    These scams will be relatively easy to avoid if you keep one piece of information in mind. As of this posting, the vaccine can not be purchased, online or otherwise. According to the website of the Centers for Disease Control, vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccination providers will be able to charge an administration fee for giving the shot to someone. In essence, the vaccine is free outside of a small provider fee.

    However, that won’t be stopping the scammers from trying to use the fear of the virus to get you to buy vaccines they don’t really have. According to reports, scammers will be sending out phishing emails stressing how urgent it is that you should get the vaccine. These emails could look like they’re coming from legitimate organizations like the CDC, Medicare, or even your own medical provider’s office.

    As with most phishing emails, the scammers are trying to get you to click on a link contained in the email. The link will likely do one of two things. It will either take you to a fake but legitimate-looking website that asks you for personal or payment information. Or it will inject some type of malware onto your device. If you give out your information, that could lead to identity theft and fraudulent purchases. If you allow malware onto your device, that could lead to your device being scanned for your information or it could be remotely held hostage with some ransomware.

    We know it sounds cliche, but literally, we are all in this together. We will all have the opportunity to be vaccinated against this destructive disease that has taken so many lives. If we’re all patient and work together, we could beat this virus before we know it.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , medical scams, ,   

    Scams will follow the vaccine rollout 

    Scams will follow the vaccine rollout

    Yesterday, vaccines for COVID-19 started rolling out across the country. Due to the initial limited supply, not everyone will be able to get one right away. The first round of vaccines are said to be going to frontline and essential workers. As you might expect, scammers are said to be already using the news of the vaccine in their latest scams.

    Scammers have been using the current pandemic to take advantage of consumers since almost day one. Previously, scammers have touted fake cures, used fake testing to gain medical information, and promised phony contact tracing jobs, just to name a few. So, it should come as no surprise that scammers are jumping on the news of a coronavirus vaccine.

    The latest scams seem to be taking one of two forms. The first one is that the scammers are calling victims and claiming to have the vaccine already. Unless they’re a medical facility or health department, they don’t have the vaccine. These scammers might be spoofing the numbers of local facilities. They’re probably looking to either take your money or steal your personal information if history is any indicator.

    The second form of the scam is scammers are promising their victims they can get them the vaccine earlier than they’re supposed to. Much like what happened with a similar scam involving the economic impact payments, no one can get you the vaccine early. Once again, this is probably another tactic of trying to get your money or information.

    When it comes to the vaccine, you should only listen to your physician or your local health department. No stranger that calls you out of the blue has your best interest in mind, They’re only looking to take from you in these confusing times.

    We’ll all be able to eventually get the vaccine as long as we remain patient and continue to practice current safety guidelines.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: clinical trial, , , medical scams,   

    COVID drug trial scam emerges 

    COVID drug trial scam emerges

    With the news of a potential COVID-19 vaccine being possibly on the horizon, scammers have wasted no time in using this news to their advantage. The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning about a new COVID-related scam that could show up on your phone.

    According to the BBB, scammers are sending text messages claiming to offer money in exchange for being part of a COVID-19 clinical trial. To be more specific, the text messages are saying that you could make $1200 as a volunteer in a COVID study. The text message then requests that you click on an included link to see if you qualify.

    The main goal of the scam is to get you to click on the link included in the text message. A few things could happen if you do click on the link. You could end up with some type of malware infecting your device. This malware could be used to hijack your device in order to read your contacts list so the scammers can find more targets. Malware could also be used to find your personal and financial information that’s kept on your device. The link could also take you to a phony website that requests your personal and financial information to see if you ‘qualify’ for the phony trial. In any case, it could mean identity theft or worse.

    Now, there are legitimate clinical trials that you can sign up for and possibly get paid if you qualify. Some of these trials even advertise to find potential applicants. However, what they do not do is send out unsolicited text messages to random people, Usually, these trials are looking for a specific type of person. In many cases, the trials are looking for people who may suffer from a certain illness or condition that’s specific to their trial. They won’t ask for your financial information either. Like many scams, the scammers may try to get you to make a payment first to get into their phony trial.

    If you receive one of these text messages, your best course of action is to delete the text and block the number. Even if you text them to stop, the scammers will then know that they found a working number and may target you for future scams.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , medical scams,   

    Contact tracing scam is still being used 

    Contact tracing scam is still  being used

    Contact tracing is basically medical detective work when it comes to contagious diseases. While it’s currently being used to try to disrupt COVID-19 infections, in the past, it’s been used to try to prevent infectious diseases like tuberculosis and measles from spreading. It works when treating an infected person and finding who they have been in close contact with and trying to get those individuals tested for the infection.

    If someone was found to have been in contact with an infected individual, they should receive a text message from their local health department saying that they will soon receive a phone call from their health department. The process behind modern contact racing still has a lot of hurdles to overcome as shown by the following video.

    Now, that hasn’t stopped scammers from trying to imitate the legitimate text messages that would be sent out in case of a potential infection. The phony texts are sent out en masse hoping to trick as many victims as possible. It will appear like the legitimate text messages but instead of telling you’ll receive a call from the health department, it will instruct you to click on a link.

    Once you click the link, you’ll be asked for personal information like your social security number, bank account information, and credit card number. None of this information would be needed by your local health department. At least not your financial information.

    Being told that you’ve been in contact with someone who has contracted the coronavirus can be scary. Scammers prey on that fear to try to get you to make rash decisions that you normally wouldn’t make otherwise.

    If you receive one of these texts that asks you to click on a link, take a breath and think about it for a moment. If there is any concern that you may have actually been in contact with someone who has been infected, your best bet is to contact your local health department.

    The CDC has a website where you can find information for each state’s health department.

     
  • Geebo 8:39 am on May 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , medical scams,   

    COVID test scam targets elderly 

    COVID test scam targets elderly

    During the current crisis, the elderly are not only the most vulnerable to the virus but could also be the most vulnerable to coronavirus related scams. Once again, an old scam has been repurposed for the global pandemic and it involves seniors’ healthcare.

    According to the Better Business Bureau, scammers are posing as Medicare employees offering coronavirus home testing kits. They ask their victims for personal information including seniors’ Medicare information. Tests are sent to the victims but again, no home test has been approved for use by the FDA. The BBB says that these scammers are more than likely committing Medicare fraud and are billing these tests to Medicare. If Medicare is paying the scammers for these tests, this could affect Medicare coverage for future coronavirus testing by doctors.

    If you receive one of these calls or possibly an email from someone claiming to be from Medicare offering you a test kit, either hang up on the call or delete the email. Whatever you do, please do not respond to any of these offers. Keep in mind that if Medicare was actually calling you, they wouldn’t need to ask for your Medicare number.

    This also goes for people on private health insurance as well. Your insurance company isn’t going to offer you an at-home test kit and won’t ask you for your ID number. If your insurance company ever does need to call you, they’ll already have that information on hand.

    Both Medicare and private insurances mostly communicate with patients by postal mail. Anybody claiming to be them with some kind of offer is either an identity thief or an insurance fraudster.

     
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