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March 6, 2019
(Adrian, MI) The Lenawee County Health Department (LCHD) has learned that in several communities in Michigan, scammers have been making phone calls appearing to be from their local health department. While the Lenawee County Health Department is not aware of this happening in Lenawee County, because several other health departments have been targeted, we wanted to make the public aware.
The scammers claim to be with their local Health Department or a Medicare representative. In both instances, the caller is asking for confidential, personal information. These calls are coming from scammers, not the health department.
The scammers are using a technique called caller ID spoofing. They falsify information transmitted to your caller ID to hide their identity. They tend to use a local number or a number from a trusted business, to increase the likelihood that you’ll answer the phone. In cases where this has happened, the caller ID shows that it’s the local health department’s phone number, but it’s really a scammer on the line.
If you receive one of these calls, simply hang up. If you get a message on your answering machine, do not return the call. And most importantly, never give out personal information over the phone, such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, your mother’s maiden name or passwords to an unsolicited caller or if you are at all suspicious.
Other tips to avoid becoming a victim of spoofing:
Again, the Lenawee County Health Department has not received any reports of spoofing calls locally. However, because this could happen without warning and because hundreds of calls in a short amount of time could tie up the health department’s phone lines, we are asking the public to assist by following the steps outlined above.