That phone call from the hospital billing department may actually be a scam.
Who Is It Targeting: Medical center patients
What Is It: A phishing scam that demands money for unpaid medical bills
What Are They After: In this phishing scam, a caller contacts local residents and claims to be with the hospital billing department. It’s not hard to find victims for this scam; after all, many small towns only have a handful of hospitals at most, and it’s safe to assume that anyone who answers the phone will have used one of them in the past. By claiming the patient has a long overdue, unpaid medical bill, the scammer hopes to confuse the victim into paying over the phone.
How Can You Avoid It:
- Hospitals do not call patients and demand payment, they send paper bills so you have a record of services.
- Never make a payment to someone who calls you; instead, hang up and contact the company yourself in order to verify your account.
- Most importantly, never make a payment if the caller insists on iTunes gift cards, prepaid debit cards, or wire transfers.
If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530.