Scammers, posing as the Department of Education, Office of the Professions, are targeting dentists and other healthcare providers.
We know of at least one member who was targeted by telephone recently and shared his experience to help other colleagues avoid falling victim to scammers and sharing personal identifying information. Keep in mind -- the Office of the Professions confirmed that they will not contact a healthcare provider by telephone.
The criminals “spoofed” phone numbers and email addresses and offered fake names and badge numbers to try to make it appear that they were calling from, and on behalf of, legitimate governmental agencies. Additionally, they provided details about the medical providers, such as full names, professional licensing numbers, and National Provider Identifier [“NPI”] numbers, in order to try to lend an air of legitimacy.
Best practices to avoid these types of scams include:
- Use official websites and official phone numbers to independently verify the authenticity of communications from alleged law enforcement or medical board officials.
- Independently contact those boards or law enforcement agencies to confirm the identity of the person(s) contacting the provider.
- Do not provide personal identifying information (Social Security Number, date of birth, or financial information) in response to suspicious emails, phone calls, or letters and do not provide professional information (medical license number, NPI number, or DEA license number).
- Be wary of any request for money or other forms of payment regarding supposed criminal investigations by alleged law enforcement agencies or regulatory entities.
To learn more about how the scammers operate, read the articles below:
Scam Alert: Scammers Posing as DOH Officials Targeting Health Care Providers (wsda.org)