The Texas Medical Board (TMB) continues warning physicians to be on alert for scammers involving criminals who pose as officials from TMB or other state and federal agencies.
The Texas Medical Association also warns of third parties pretending to be affiliated with TMA or our authorized vendors.
TMB passed along a report from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that says physicians registered with the DEA are receiving calls and emails from criminals who identify themselves as DEA personnel or other law enforcement agents.
“In some instances callers may claim to be employees with the Texas Medical Board, DEA, FBI or other law enforcement entity and may even attempt to spoof agency phone numbers or send documents on official-looking letterhead demanding money,” TMB said in its alert. “Please know the TMB would never call and make such requests for sensitive information over the phone or send demand letters for money to reinstate licenses or threaten the arrest of licensees. The TMB does not suspend licenses at the direction of the DEA, FBI or other federal entity. Additionally, the TMB has no authority to issue, cancel, or influence arrest warrants as some scams have indicated.”
According to the DEA notice, the criminals mask their telephone number on caller ID by displaying the DEA Registration Support 800 number. A real DEA employee would not contact a registrant and demand money, or threaten to suspend someone’s registration over the phone, the DEA says. FBI has issued similar fraud alerts.
If you receive such a call from someone claiming to be either a DEA or TMB official, report it using the DEA’s online extortion scam reporting form here.
For more information, you can also go here to locate and contact your local DEA field office, or contact the Registration Service Center at (800) 882-9539 or DEA.Registration.Help[at]usdoj[dot]gov.
TMA experts also urge vigilance to identify and avoid scam contacts and websites from third parties claiming affiliations with the association, a TMA event, or a TMA authorized vendor. They offer this information regarding common scams:
- Mailing Lists: Mailing lists are a popular tool used by individuals or organizations trying to get you to provide your personal information and/or to pay them money. Organizations and individuals might try to target TMA vendors, guests, and our members by offering to rent or sell attendee, member or exhibitor contact information. TMA does not rent or sell lists like this to a third party broker for the purpose of the broker to then re-sell or rent the lists to others in exchange for payment. If you are ever contacted by an entity or individual claiming to offer you a list like this or similar information for rent or sell relating to TMA, a TMA event, or a TMA-authorized vendor, please contact TMA to verify whether this is a legitimate offer.
- Websites: Organizations or individuals also may create websites falsely claiming to provide registration for TMA events (including continuing medical education classes) and hotels. For TMA event registration and related hotel accommodations (to the extent applicable for a TMA event), please go through TMA’s official website, http://www.texmed.org, for valid information. If you have trouble navigating our website, you can contact the TMA Knowledge Center by phone at 512-370-1550 or by email at Knowledge@texmed.org.
Use caution if you receive a message from a third party claiming you have received a reward relating to a TMA event or claiming there is a problem with your registration, membership, or a TMA or authorized vendor service. Many times those messages might include language to pressure you to take quick action, such as marking the message “immediate action required” or “urgent.” If the communication is asking for you to click a link, download an attachment, or asking for financial information or private contact information, make sure to stop and consider whether this could be a scam.
If you have any doubt about the authenticity of a communication or website relating to TMA, a TMA event, or a TMA-authorized vendor, or to report a potential scam encounter, please contact TMA at EventHelp@texmed.org.