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.

Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from

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.