Centra patients targeted by scam

Published 6:00 am Friday, November 20, 2020

Recently a number of Centra patients received phone calls from callers identifying themselves as Centra employees in an effort to get valuable information like Medicare or social security numbers, or to sell medical equipment such as wheelchairs that the patient doesn’t need.

The caller ID may even appear as “Centra” or as a Centra phone number (434.200.xxxx) the patient recognizes. Falsifying a caller ID number in this way is known as “spoofing,” and unfortunately, Centra cannot prevent this type of activity.

Please be cautious about giving medical or insurance information over the phone, just as you are with other personal or financial information. If you think a caller is falsely representing Centra, hang up and call the Centra provider’s office to find out if they need information from you. If you think you have been a victim of any kind of phone scam, please report it to the law enforcement organizations shown below:

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• The Federal Trade Commission is the primary government agency that collects scam complaints. Report to the Federal Trade Commission: Online: https:// reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/ By phone: 1-877-382- 4357.

• Report suspected Medicare fraud: 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877-486- 2048

• If you have had money stolen from you by the scammers, report it to your local law enforcement.

• Report caller ID spoofing to the Federal Communications Commission: Online: https:// consumercomplaints. fcc.gov/hc/en-us By Phone: 1-888-225- 5322.

• If you have been a victim of identity theft, visit https://identitytheft.gov/ for information on how to report it.

To learn more about how to spot and avoid Medicare scams or scams in general visit: https://www.consumer. ftc.gov/blog/2019/03/ protect-yourself-against-medicare-scams Common scams: https://www.usa. gov/common-scams-frauds#item-37207.