Be Alert for Unsolicited Calls

Kansas City, Mo., March 10, 2017

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) has been notified of two telephone “spoofing scams” where scammers are altering the appearance of their phone numbers to make it seem as if they are calling from the Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) hotline number, and/or a Blue KC customer service phone number.

Please note, this issue has not affected any of Blue KC’s systems or member information.

These scammers are claiming to be HHS or Blue KC employees and are using various tactics to obtain or verify the victim’s personal information, which can then be used for fraudulent activity.

Members should be on the alert for unsolicited calls from 1-800-447-8477, or a Blue KC number. If you receive a call from one of these numbers, do not answer the phone or call the number back.

You may also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). In order to file a complaint, you will need to provide the date and time you received the scam call.

More information about the OIG calls follows.

OIG Consumer Alert

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently confirmed that the HHS OIG Hotline telephone number is being used as part of a telephone spoofing scam targeting individuals throughout the country. These scammers represent themselves as HHS OIG Hotline employees and can alter the appearance of the caller ID to make it seem as if the call is coming from the HHS OIG Hotline 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477). The perpetrator may use various tactics to obtain or verify the victim’s personal information, which can then be used to steal money from an individual’s bank account or for other fraudulent activity. HHS OIG takes this matter seriously. We are actively investigating this matter and intend to have the perpetrators prosecuted.

It is important to know that HHS OIG will not use the HHS OIG Hotline telephone number to make outgoing calls and individuals should not answer calls from 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477). We encourage the public to remain vigilant, protect their personal information, and guard against providing personal information during calls that purport to be from the HHS OIG Hotline telephone number. We also remind the public that it is still safe to call into the HHS OIG Hotline to report fraud. We particularly encourage those who believe they may have been a victim of the telephone spoofing scam to report that information to us through the HHS OIG Hotline 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477) or spoof@oig.hhs.gov. Individuals may also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

More information is available on the OIG Consumer Alerts webpage.

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