PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A phone call claiming to be from Blue Cross and Blue Shield Rhode Island inquiring about your personal health information could potentially be a “phishing” scheme designed to gather information for fraud.
The office of Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin is warning residents of the confidence trick being run now. Several Blue Cross members reported phone calls where someone claimed to be from Blue Cross but needed to ask for or verify personal health information, including insurance card numbers, and other identifying information such as social security number or date of birth.
BCBSRI does retain outside companies to conduct member surveys, the attorney general’s office says, but operators shouldn’t be asking for social security numbers or other personal information.
If you get a call like this, BCBSRI and the A.G.’s office have several suggested tactics:
- Ask the caller to properly identify themselves and ask for a phone number.
- Hang up.
- Do not call the phone number back.
- Do not provide the caller with personal health information, including insurance ID or information regarding recent medical procedures.
- Do not provide the caller with personal information such as social security number or date of birth.
- Contact BCBSRI’s Fraud Hotline directly at 1-800-424-8700 to report the phone call.
For more information from Rhode Island’s Consumer Protection Unit on how to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft or swindling, go to their web site at RI.gov or call (401) 274-4400.