Phone scammers are impersonating sheriff’s deputies and threatening fines or possible arrest in a new fraud targeting medical professionals, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
Specifically, the fraudster will claim the health care provider has missed a court date to testify as a witness or that their prescription number is being used to traffic drugs, according to an FTC news release. The caller will then offer the option of paying with gift card numbers in order to avoid fines or arrest.
According to the FTC, the scam caller often sounds convincing by revealing real details about the health care professional’s employer and background or by impersonating a real law enforcement officer and faking their caller ID information. Medical scams have taken place in Cleveland, Ohio, but similar scams in other parts of the country have targeted other licensed professionals such as attorneys and architects.
The FTC encourages licensed health care providers to remember that real law enforcement officers will never call to threaten arrest or demand fine payments.