AG Nessel Warns Of Scam Involving Local Health Departments

Livingston County is among five counties statewide experiencing a phone scam being highlighted by state officials.

After a recent uptick in phone scams targeting residents, Attorney General Dana Nessel, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon and Michigan Association for Local Public Health Executive Director Meghan Swain are warning Michiganders about scammers posing as public health officials to steal personal information.

Several local health departments – including Bay, Jackson, Livingston, Monroe, and Washtenaw counties – have received reports from residents about calls from individuals seeking personal information that could be used to steal someone’s identity. The callers claim to be from a local health department and appear to be calling from health department phone numbers, a practice that is commonly known as spoofing.

Nessel reminded residents that, “Scammers use every tool they have to take advantage of anyone they can” and that it’s important to remember they should never give personal and confidential information to unsolicited callers. She advised anyone receiving such a call to simply hang up and report the call the AG’s office at 877-765-8388. Complaints can be also filed online at mi.gov/agcomplaints.

“Local public health and Medicaid officials will never call you to request account information, Social Security numbers or passwords,” said Gordon. “Remain diligent about protecting your personal information and end the call immediately if you get this kind of inquiry over the phone.”

“We are concerned that spoofers are using a trusted community entity like the local health department to obtain personal information on residents for possible illegal activity,” Swain said. “Local health departments are aware of the issue and want to ensure the public that we would not ask for personal information over the phone. If there is a concern by an individual who has been spoofed, we encourage them to contact the local health department immediately to notify them of spoofing and to confirm if the department is attempting to contact them.” (JK)

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