Beaufort Memorial Hospital warns patients about phone scammers trying to steal sensitive information

Officials at Beaufort (S.C.) Memorial Hospital are warning community members of a phone scam targeting Beaufort County residents in which callers pretend to be from the hospital to obtain their Social Security numbers or credit card information.

The scammers use a technique called spoofing that allows them to falsify the information on recipients' caller ID screens so the calls appear to come from a BMH extension. Some local residents reported the scammers are requesting information such as their Social Security numbers or credit card information in an attempt to sell goods or services.

"Although it does not appear to be a widespread issue, we want to make the community aware of the scam to ensure that no one inadvertently shares information with someone who is falsely representing themselves," said Willard Fosberry, director of Information Systems at BMH.    

So far, there is no evidence suggesting a breach of the hospital's medical records, and the calls appear to be randomly targeting Beaufort County community members.

Officials are recommending those who receive a call from a BMH number to proceed with caution and ask the caller specific identifying information, including name and position, department and call-back number. Then, they should call the hospital's main number and ask the operator to transfer them to the appropriate person.

"Do not provide personal or financial information to anyone representing themselves as a BMH employee without screening the caller, then verifying the information by calling the extension yourself" Mr. Fosberry said. "And, if a caller is asking for bill payment or personal identifying information, hang up and call the phone number on your billing statement." 

The hospital has contacted it phone carrier, as well as local and federal agencies including the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office, FBI and the Federal Communications Commission.

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