The Tennessee Attorney General’s Division of Consumer Affairs issued a warning regarding a widespread fraud scheme targeting medical professionals. Scammers impersonating agents from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are attempting to extort money or steal personal identifiable information. On these calls, scammers often claim the provider’s National Provider Identifier (NPI) has been compromised and is being used for illicit purposes.
In Tennessee, a dentist received a call of this nature last week. The victim reported the scammer provided a detailed story about the dentist’s NPI being stolen and used for large-scale purchases of drugs, including oxycodone. The scammer told the dentist their practice was being investigated by multiple government agencies. When questioned by the dentist, the scammer was unable to provide some key information, before abruptly hanging up.
It is important to remember that DEA personnel will never contact members of the public or providers to demand payment, will never request personal information, and will only notify people of a legitimate investigation or legal action in person or by official letter.
Those who receive calls of this nature should immediately report the incident to the FBI. The Federal Trade Commission provides recovery steps, shares information with other law enforcement agencies, and takes reports here.
If you are a victim and provided personal information to a scammer, learn more about how to protect yourself from identify theft. Tennessee residents may file a complaint with the Division of Consumer Affairs at tn.gov/consumer.