PINEHURST — Some Richmond County residents may be getting a call from someone purporting to be from a regional health care provider — and it could be a scam.
FirstHealth of the Carolinas issued a media advisory on Monday to warn of a phone scam using caller ID “spoofing,” a manipulation of caller ID allowing scammers to disguise their identity.
Emily Sloan, assistant director of public relations, said that residents have been receiving phone calls that appear to be from a FirstHealth phone number asking for credit card information.
“If you receive a phone call like this, hang up immediately, and do not share any personal information over the phone,” she said in the advisory. “Because the call did not actually come from FirstHealth, it’s not necessary to call the number back.”
Sloan urges anyone who has given any personal information to a similar caller to contact their bank or credit card companies, adding those who believe they may be a victim of identity theft should call local law enforcement.
Laura Brewer with the N.C. Attorney General’s office says there are only two spoofing cases listed in the database from this year.
“That is likely because consumers don’t realize they’re being spoofed when it happens, or they don’t know how to contact our office,” she said.
Possible scams can be reported to the A.G.’s office by calling 1-877-5-NOSCAM or by filing an online complaint at ncdoj.gov/complaint.
Brewer offers several tips to prevent from becoming a spoofing victim:
• Always remember a people on the phone may not be who they say they are. If you’re concerned, hang up and call them back on the number you have for them.
• Do not answer any questions about your personal health issues.
• Do not provide any information about your personal finances.
• Do not give out your social security number or your date of birth.
If you have provided any of the above information, it would be a good idea to contact the credit reporting agencies to place a freeze on your credit report,” Brewer added. “We always encourage consumers to obtain a copy of their credit report yearly to review the information listed and make sure there are no errors in your credit file.”
FirstHealth is warning residents of a phone scam where someone who appears to be calling from a number associated with the health care provider is asking for credit card information.