Scammers Continue to Impersonate State Regulators: What You Need to Know
An ongoing fraud ring has been preying on healthcare practitioners for the last year. The fraudulent behavior includes using the Washington Medical Commission (WMC) phone number, email and web URL; pretending to be Drug Enforcement Administration agents; posing as a Department of Health officials in order to make providers think they are in trouble with regulators or the law and may be in danger of discipline or loss of license.
The scam involves using personal information to exploit you for money or information to execute scams on others.
Recent near-victims of this scam were:
- Sent papers with official looking letterhead from the WMC and U.S. Department of Justice - the letters contained forged signatures of WMC officials and fictional investigative staff
- Called by someone claiming to be looking into their “over-prescribing of opioids”
- Told they were under official investigation for drug related charges and that their license was immediately suspended
- Told not to check our website because that would mean they are guilty
- Recipients of emails that had wmc.wa.gov in the address
Legitimate regulatory agencies will not:
- • Ask you for money.
- • Ask you to respond to any action in less than twenty days.
- • Advise against speaking with a lawyer.
- • Ask you to confirm personal details, passwords, or social security numbers.
Protect yourself by adhering to the following recommendations:
- Never click on links or download suspicious attachments
- Don't fall prey to a manufactured urgency. A vital component of this fraud is the urgency of request or demand. If you are contacted by a regulatory agency you will have a legally protected amount of time to respond
- If you suspect that you are being contacted by a fraudulent regulator, you can verify the request with the WMC by calling: (360) 236-2750.
- Restrict your personal information online. Scammers leverage personal information from social media accounts or other public forums
If you have verified that you are being attacked, file a complaint with the State Attorney General or file a complaint with the FBI Internet Crimes Unit and contact your local police department right away! Please help spread the word about this scam by sharing this information with your friends, family and colleagues.