home > News and Publications > Publications
SCAM ALERT: HHS OIG Says Its Fraud Hotline Number is Being Used in Phone Scam
Posted on: 3/14/2017

If you get a call from 800-447-8477 with the words "HHS OIG Hotline" on your caller ID, be suspicious.

That's the number of the very legitimate fraud hotline run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General.

However, it's not the OIG calling.

The agency recently announced that some very cheeky scammers spoofed their hotline number and began using it to steal personal, bank and credit card information from unsuspecting call targets.

Spoofing is the practice of using software to falsify information shown on a recipient’s caller ID screen.

A physician or staff member who sees "HHS OIG" or "HHS OIG Hotline" on a phone screen might know to pick up immediately — which is exactly what these data thieves want.

According to OIG, these scammers call and try to convince the recipient to surrender personal or patient birth dates, Social Security numbers, or credit card, bank account or driver's license numbers. It's data that can be used either to steal funds or capture valuable data that can be resold.

According to an OIG spokesperson, the agency "would never reach out to a healthcare institution on an official matter via our hotline phone number." 

So what should you do if you get one of these calls? Hang up and call the same number — 800-447-8477 — to report possible fraud. The number is still live for that purpose.

And if you get a call from HHS OIG from any another number or location? Take the call, make notes and consider alerting your legal advisor before you fulfill any specific agency request.

View Full Site View Mobile Site