Public Service Announcement: Beware of Phone and Email Scammers Posing as Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Agents
Bassett Healthcare Network has become aware of a telephone and email scam that appears to be targeting medical practitioners. Community members are also urged to stay alert for suspicious phone or email messages from these criminals.
While there may be variations, scammers are posing as Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and/or Federal Bureau of Investigation Agents (FBI) agents. Either through a phone call or an email, the scammer asks to speak with the victim concerning an ongoing investigation that “may impact their medical license.” They may even suggest that there is a warrant issued for the arrest of the practitioner or receiver of the call. The scammer then will attempt to engage the victim in a series of elaborate and sophisticated questions and processes to extract information and demand money.
DEA and FBI personnel will never contact medical practitioners or members of the public by telephone or email to demand money or any other form of payment, nor to request any personal or sensitive information. The DEA has published a public warning about these suspicious calls. Read more here.
If you receive a call like this, hang up immediately. If you receive an email like this, do not respond. If you believe you have fallen victim to this scam, you should take steps to protect yourself right away, including, but not limited to:
- Contacting your local police department or Sherriff’s office to file a complaint.
- File a complaint with the FBI website – at the Internet Complaint Center – by visiting www.ic3.gov – or call 202-324-3000.
- Call the Federal Trade Commission at 877-FTC-HELP, 877-ID-THEFT, or www.ftc.gov.
- Change all passwords, especially for financial institutions, and begin using two-factor authentication methods.
- Call your banks and financial institutions and activate a credit freeze.
- If you subscribe to services from an identity protection service – like LifeLock, Identity Guard, or IDShield – call them.
- Call your insurance company – some personal policies have protection.
- Seek advice from your personal attorneys or accountants.