Scammers posing as Spectrum Health employees are calling patients to steal their PHI, health system warns 

Spectrum Health warned patients Sept. 14 of a new "vishing" scam where individuals pretend to be an employee of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based health system and call patients to steal their protected health information. 

Spectrum Health said the scam calls are referred to as "vishing," or when a caller uses flattery or threats to pressure an individual into giving them information, money or access to personal devices. The scam phone calls can also maneuver caller ID to make their call appear to be from a Spectrum Health phone number. 

The scammers have posed both as employees of Spectrum Health and its health plan subsidiary, Priority Health. 

"These are not the type of questions our employees would ask in a legitimate phone call from Spectrum Health or Priority Health," Scott Dresen, senior vice president and chief information security officer, said in the news release. "For example, we would never ask someone to tell us their password for the Spectrum Health App. Best practice is to be wary of any unexpected call from your healthcare provider." 

To avoid falling victim to the vishing scam, Mr. Dressen recommends patients and members either let the call go to voicemail or hang up any suspicious calls and contact their provider to check whether it was legitimate. Anyone who has received a vishing call should report it to the FCC Consumer Complaint Center, he added. 

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The future of health data privacy: 6 things to know 

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