Fake health officials using phone scam to steal personal information from Michigan residents

DETROIT – The Michigan Attorney General has issued a warning about a scam targeting thousands of people across the state and in Metro Detroit.

Scammers are pretending to be health officials and working to learn personal information and steal identities.

It’s a growing scam, and people in several counties across the state have already been victimized, officials said. Authorities have heard from victims in Washtenaw, Livingston and Monroe counties, as well as Jackson and Bay, Michigan.

The call appears to be from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The caller uses the spoofing trick to make that appear on the caller ID, officials said.

According to authorities, the callers are aggressive and often prey on seniors. Residents can protect themselves by not answering the phone or following these steps from the attorney general:

  • Never give up personal information to an unknown caller.
  • Don’t respond to unsolicited emails from an unknown sender.
  • Use a reliable source to confirm the contact’s phone number or email.
  • Report any suspicious contacts to police.

“If you are ever asked by an unsolicited caller to give out personal information, don’t do it,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “Hang up the phone immediately and report anything that you suspect might be a scam to our office.”

“MDHHS does not call clients and ask for detailed personal information over the phone,” MDHHS Director Robert Gordon said. “At most a department caseworker would ask for a date of birth or the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you have any doubts, ask to call the worker back and use the local office switchboard to connect.”

If you want to make a report about scam calls, file a complaint online or call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 877-765-8388.

You can watch Hank Winchester’s full story in the video posted above.

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