— from Pegi Groundwater —
There is a new telephone scam out there that you need to be aware of. The scammers alter the caller ID information on your phone to make it seem as if the call is coming from the Dept. of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) Hotline 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477).
These scammers are trying to get Medicare beneficiaries and other members of the public to verify or share personal information, which they use to victimize you – draining your bank accounts or diverting your Social Security benefits.
The OIG wants you to know that OIG will not use the OIG Hotline phone number to make outgoing calls and individuals should not answer calls from 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477).
OIG also encourages those who believe they may have been a victim of the phone spoofing scam to report it to OIG either through its Hotline at 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consumers can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).