Local and Out-of-State Residents May be Targeted
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Health has been notified by several people in Tennessee and other states of a potential scam in which people are contacted via telephone by a caller asking for health insurance information. The calls appear to come from the Tennessee Department of Health central office.
The scam reportedly involves a person who calls potential victims from a number that displays as the Tennessee Department of Health. When the calls are answered, the scam artist asks for personal information including health insurance information from those contacted. In some instances, the caller states he or she is calling on behalf of BlueCross BlueShield.
The Tennessee Department of Health does not contact people by phone to request personal information such as health insurance information and warns everyone not to share any personal information in this manner. When patients are making appointments for services at a local health department, the health department clinic staff member may ask who the patient’s insurance carrier is, but will not ask for policy numbers or other details over the phone. Health department representatives do not contact people who are not patients to request such information.
TDH has notified law enforcement about this matter. Anyone with questions or concerns about an unauthorized release of or request for health insurance or other personal information should contact his or her local law enforcement agency. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members who receive a call are also advised to contact the BlueCross Compliance Hotline at (888) 343-4221.
The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s Division of Consumer Affairs reminds consumers to never give personal information such as name, address, Social Security number, credit card information or medical information to a stranger over the phone. If consumers believe they have been the victim of a scam, the division urges them to report what happened to federal or state agencies. Contact the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs at (800) 342-8385 or (615) 741-4737, or visit www.tn.gov/commerce/consumer-affairs.html to file a complaint.