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Access Healthcare patients, Hernando residents targeted by phone scam

BROOKSVILLE — Authorities are warning Hernando residents of a phone scam that falsely uses the name of a health care provider to try to obtain the victim's personal financial information.

On Tuesday, Access Healthcare officials contacted the Hernando County Sheriff's Office after receiving at least seven calls in recent days from patients who have been targeted by this scam. Access Healthcare has checked all of its files and stated that there is no evidence that anyone has been able to obtain any patient information.

The caller, using special technology to make the call appear to be coming from Access, told the person they are due a refund for various reasons, including something related to President Barack Obama's new health care plan. The caller, the Sheriff's Office reported, tried to get the recipient's checking account information, so the refund could be directly deposited into that account.

The Sheriff's Office described the action as a "phishing" scam in which calls are made to many people hoping to gain access to at least some information.

Investigators want to hear from anyone who has provided bank account information to anyone over the phone regarding any variation of this scheme. If you are not a patient of Access Healthcare but have been contacted by a suspected scammer, contact Sgt. Jeff Kraft (jkraft@hernandosheriff.org).

Anyone who suspects he has been a victim of a scam should contact his bank. Victims should also file a fraud alert with the three major credit bureaus. If any money was stolen or someone's identity has been used illegally, they should contact the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

Access Healthcare patients, Hernando residents targeted by phone scam 09/20/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 8:41pm]

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