The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently confirmed that the HHS OIG hotline number is being used as part of a telephone spoofing scam targeting people throughout the country. The scammers represent themselves as hotline employees and can change the caller ID to make it look like the call is coming from the HHS OIG hotline, which is 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477). The caller may use different strategies to get or confirm personal information, which can then be used to steal money from bank accounts or for other fraudulent activity. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is actively investigating this matter.
It is important to know that HHS OIG will not use the HHS OIG Hotline telephone number to make outgoing calls and that calls from 1-800-HHS-TIPS should not be answered. CMS is encouraging the public to remain alert and protect their personal information.
CMS has stated that it is still safe to call the hotline to report fraud. If you believe you may have been a victim of the telephone spoofing scam, report it by calling the hotline, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
If you have any questions, contact Stephen Long, Peoples Health Medicare compliance officer, toll-free at 1-800-631-8443, ext. 8580. You may also email questions to email@example.com.
For more information, visit the OIG Consumer Alerts web page.