AG Nessel: Scammers spoofing Michigan health department phone numbers

Posted at 1:16 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 13:42:37-04

(WXYZ) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is warning of scammers that spoof phone numbers of at least one local public health department.

The scammers call residents to offer medication while asking for their Medicaid and Medicare numbers for billing purposes.

Nessel says calls to the Ionia County Health Department are then jamming up phone lines and delaying official business in responding to COVID-19.

“Scammers will not hesitate to gain access to your private information, and false promises of medications will not be fulfilled,” Nessel said. “As a result of this scam, the number of calls to local public health departments are also hindering their ability to respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Never provide any personal information over the phone unless you have first independently confirmed who you are talking to.”

Nessel says that scammers use a process known as "spoofing," where a call appears to be coming from a legitimate government phone number.

The AG's department is reminding residents that no one should give out personal information to an unsolicited caller.

Residents should also be aware of online coronavirus scams selling bogus products and providing false information on COVID-19 tests and treatments.