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Hospital targeted by caller ID spoofing calls

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From Staff Reports

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Area residents have alerted Nash UNC Health Care that the hospital’s phone number and caller ID are showing up on their Caller ID, but it is not the hospital calling — it is a telemarketer or scammer.

“Caller ID spoofing” is when a caller falsifies the identity sent to your caller ID display to disguise their identity and as a tactic to increase the number of answered calls. The state Department of Justice warns that some callers have gotten very creative, using this tactic to display local numbers, the number of a friend or neighbor — even the call recipient’s own phone number as well as the numbers of respected companies and public institutions.

Reports to hospital officials indicate that at least one of Nash UNC Health Care’s phone numbers recently has been used for spoofing in the area. Anyone receiving a call from Nash UNC Health Care regarding a hospital visit should make certain the caller can provide specific information: first name, last name and the billing address given at hospital registration. It is unlikely scammers will have this information.

There have been no reports of anyone providing personal information to scammers using the hospital’s number, but Nash UNC administrators are warning everyone in the area to be alert. Callers have many different tactics they will attempt to use to get information so they can steal money or commit other fraudulent activities.

Never offer any personal information and if there is any doubt about a call, hang up and call Nash UNC Health Care at 252-962-8000.

There are some cases where spoofing is legal, such as when a doctor calls a patient from a personal mobile phone and the office number appears on the caller ID instead of the doctor’s personal phone. However, spoofing for the purposes of defrauding or causing harm is illegal and carries a penalty up to $10,000 for each violation. Many of these calls are placed from overseas, making it difficult to block the calls or apprehend the callers.

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