Spectrum Health Warns of “Vishing” Scam
Mar 8, 2021
Deceptive calls request personal information
(ST. JOSEPH) - Spectrum Health has received reports from patients and Priority Health members that they are receiving calls from individuals pretending to be from Spectrum Health or Priority Health. Callers try to extract personal information such as member numbers and other protected health information.
Spectrum Health officials confirm these calls are a scam called “vishing,” where the caller will use flattery and threats to pressure individuals into giving them information, money and even access to personal devices. These fake phone calls can even “spoof” caller ID and appear to be from a Spectrum Health phone number.
“These are not the type of questions our employees would ask in a legitimate phone call from Spectrum Health or Priority Health,” said Scott Dresen, senior vice president and chief information security officer. “For example, we would never ask someone to tell us their password for the Spectrum Health App. Best practice is to be wary of any unexpected call from your health care provider.”
Dresen advises that anyone receiving such a call hang up and call their provider to confirm if there is a legitimate need for information. “A better option is to let a questionable call go into voicemail which will allow you the opportunity to confirm its legitimacy.”
Here are some tips to avoid giving out personal information to the wrong person:
- Never share account passwords or temporary verification codes with anyone. Spectrum Health will never ask you for this information when you need support.
- Do not provide personal information such as birthdate, social security number or home address.
- Do not confirm your employment or your personal information.
- Do not give out any financial information.
- Ask for the name of the person calling and a number to call back. Scammers won’t provide a valid number that would allow you to call back.
Dresen says best practice is to be wary of any unexpected calls from numbers you don’t recognize. Consider letting them go to voicemail so you can listen and decide how to best respond.
If you should receive a call like this, consider filing a consumer complaint with the FCC. By doing so, you contribute to federal enforcement and consumer protection efforts on a national scale and help us identify trends and track the issues that matter most.