Physicians and practice staff should always be vigilant against scams and other fraud attempts, including criminals who sometimes pose as state or federal officials.
The scams often involve calls, emails, and even faxes from criminals who identify themselves as U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) or FBI personnel threatening enforcement action unless the physician or practice pays a fine.
Recent scams also have involved criminals posing as Texas Medical Board employees demanding money to reinstate a license.
Other recently reported scam attempts have tried to cash in on the fear caused by the COVID-19 panic, or exploit security gaps in computers, servers, and medical devices.
To protect you and your practice, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency advises:
- Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails.
- Be wary of email attachments and social engineering or phishing scams.
- Use trusted sources – such as government websites – for fact-based information.
- Avoid revealing personal or financial information in emails, calls, and faxes; and do not respond to solicitations for that information.
- Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations. Review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on charity scams for more information.
The Texas Medical Association’s on-demand webinar Complying With HIPAA Security Rule and Texas Data Security Laws includes a section on cyber security issues such as phishing and scams. The webinar, free to TMA members, is accredited for 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ and 1 ethics.
The Texas attorney general's office website also details the different types of internet scams and ways to spot scammers.
If you receive a call or email you suspect is fraudulent, report it using the DEA’s online extortion scam reporting form here.
Last Updated On
February 05, 2021
Originally Published On
February 05, 2021