February 3, 2021
The FBI has alerted us that criminals are calling and texting practitioners claiming to be an agent of a medical board, the Drug Enforcement Administration, or the FBI. Often they allege that your medical or drug license is being used in a scheme to traffic drugs. This is a scam.
The fraud isn't always obvious. The scammers mainly used phone calls and text to reach victims, but in some cases, victims received faxed documents allegedly detailing the investigation, including FBI and DEA case updates, evidence of the fictitious bank accounts, notice of license suspension, and receipts for the wire transfers. These documents included official-looking letterhead, seals, stamps, and water marks from the FBI and DEA. The scams often included publicly available information such as National Provider Identifier numbers, license numbers, and business addresses, to make them look legitimate — do not be fooled!
Use these tips from the HCA Information Protection & Security team to protect yourself:
- Determine the accuracy. Check the phone or text numbers used against phone numbers identified on FBI, DEA, and medical board websites. But be aware that scammers have the ability to spoof phone numbers to appear as though they legitimately belong to the entity they are claiming to be.
- Confirm the identities of the individuals who contact you by taking down their names and calling your local FBI field office or medical board.
- Do not share any personally identifiable information, such as date of birth, social security number, financial information, or professional/licensing information until you confirm the identities of the individuals who contacted you.
- Remember: FBI and medical board staff members or investigators will never contact licensees demanding payment in any form or personalized information without conducting an official investigation or inquiry. If you receive such a call, refuse the demand for payment.
- Remain calm. Scammers will insist you have to act immediately or lose your license. They do not want you to take a moment to do research or realize something does not sound right.
- Know the signs. Requests from medical board representatives or a law enforcement agency asking for money transfers, especially to foreign bank accounts, is an indicator of a scam, according to the FBI.
- Report the scam. Contact your appropriate medical board or your local FBI Field Office so they are aware of what is happening and can warn others. HCA Healthcare colleagues should also report the scam to the Information Protection & Security mailbox.