Catawba Valley Medical Center (CVMC) and Frye Regional Medical Center (FRMC)
have been made aware and want to advise local residents about a phone
scam in our area involving callers posing as representatives from the
hospital. This is a case of Caller ID “spoofing,” a high-tech
manipulation of the Caller ID feature that allows the scammer to disguise
their true identity by making the phone number appear to be that of the
hospital. This scam has been targeting hospital patients nationwide.
Please help us educate your family, friends, neighbors and others about this.
The hospitals offer the following tips about this recent phone scam:
- If you have not been a patient at either hospital, or are not currently
scheduled for a medical procedure, it is unlikely that you would be receiving
a call from either hospital.
If you are a CVMC or FRMC patient (or a patient at one of their physician
practices) and you are unsure as to why you would receive a call from
them, ask for the caller’s name, hospital department and a direct
phone number to call them back. You may also call our Business Services
- Catawba Valley Medical Center - 828.326.2477
- Frye Regional Medical Center – 828.315.5540
The Federal Communications Commission offers these tips:
- You may not be able to tell right away if an incoming call is spoofed.
Be careful about responding to ANY request for personal identifying information.
- Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security
numbers, mother's maiden names, passwords or other identifying information
in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
- If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or
a government agency seeking personal information, hang up and call the
phone number on your account statement, in the phone book or on the company's
or government agency's website to verify the authenticity of the request.
- Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.
- If you have a voicemail account with your phone service, be sure to set
a password for it. Some voicemail services are preset to allow access
if you call in from your own phone number. A hacker could spoof your home
phone number and gain access to your voice mail if you do not set a password.
Is blocking a phone number the same thing as spoofing?
Spoofing is not the same thing as blocking a phone number. FCC rules require
telephone companies to make phone number blocking available and free for
all calls between states (each state makes its own rules about calls that
stay within the state). If you receive a phone call from an "unknown
number," that phone number has been blocked, but not necessarily
spoofed. Also, you can legally block the transmission of your phone number
when you make calls, so your number will appear as "unknown."
What are the FCC rules regarding Caller ID for telemarketers?
FCC rules specifically require that a telemarketer:
- Transmit or display its telephone number or the telephone number on whose
behalf the call is being made, and, if possible, its name or the name
of the company for which it is selling products or services.
- Display a telephone number you can call during regular business hours to
ask to no longer be called. This rule applies even to companies that already
have an established business relationship with you.
How do I report suspected spoofing?
If you receive a call and you suspect Caller ID information has been falsified,
or you think the rules for protecting the privacy of your telephone number
have been violated, you can file a complaint with the FCC. You have multiple
options for filing a complaint with the FCC:
- File a complaint online
- By phone: 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322); TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322);
ASL Videophone: 1-844-432-2275
- By mail (please include your name, address, contact information and as
much detail about your complaint as possible):
Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20554