Scammers are seeking to obtain personal information by impersonating Canadian hospital staff over the phone, NEWS 1130 reports. Vancouver Coastal Health issued an alert in which the healthcare provider warned people not to give out their personal information if they receive an unsolicited phone call from someone claiming to work for a hospital. The organization said the scammers may be spoofing the phone numbers of local hospitals, so people shouldn’t trust what appears on caller ID.
“Vancouver Coastal Health is warning the public not to provide personal information over the phone if they receive an unexpected call that appears to come from Squamish General Hospital,” the alert states, naming the facility whose identity has recently been spoofed. “Someone is representing themselves as a hospital employee and is asking for personal identification information including full name, Social Insurance Number and date of birth. Although the calls may appear to come from Squamish General Hospital, they are not and are not associated with Vancouver Coastal Health. This has the hallmarks of a phishing scam, where scammers trick people into providing personal information to be later used fraudulently. RCMP [that is, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police] have been advised.”
Scammers frequently impersonate entities that people are likely to respond to, such as law enforcement agencies or healthcare organizations. Knowing how scammers operate and what types of information legitimate callers will ask for can help you avoid falling for these types of scams. Vancouver Coastal Health says its staff will never request such detailed information over a phone call.
“If you receive an unexpected call from Squamish General Hospital, please don't provide any personal information. No one from the hospital would ask for detailed identification information, such as your Social Insurance Number, over the phone. If you have received one of these calls, you can contact [Squamish General Hospital] at 604-892-5211 to determine its legitimacy.” You may never have been a patient at Squamish General, but you should be able to infer the precautionary principle and go from there.
New-school security awareness training can give your employees a healthy sense of suspicion so they can avoid being pressured into handing over their personal information.
NEWS 1130 has the story.