Phone scammers pose as N.C. hospital officials

A North Carolina hospital is warning patients of a phone scam in what appears to be a case of caller ID "spoofing," where hackers manipulate their caller ID to pretend they are calling from the hospital.

Onslow Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, N.C., said switchboard operators received an unusually high number of phone calls the evening of March 23 from people across the state saying they had received a call from the hospital.

"Consumers who called the switchboard yesterday said that it appeared as a hang-up," Amy Sousa, hospital spokeswoman, told WNCT. "We are concerned that this recent barrage of calls could be just a 'dry run' for a more damaging future scam, and we want the public to be aware and take the necessary precautions."

This isn't the first time Onslow Memorial Hospital has been the victim of such a scam. In April 2015, somebody identifying him or herself as a hospital representative called patients to discuss bogus insurance plan benefits including special vitamins, weight loss pills and pain creams. The caller asked for credit card and health insurance information.

"The hospital does not have a telemarketing department, and the hospital is NOT going to sell these products," the hospital said in a statement.

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