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MMH Asks the Community to be Aware of Phone Spoofiing

January 23, 2018

Massena Memorial Hospital has had several calls from community members telling us they have been contacted by someone using MMH phone numbers trying to gain access to personal information including credit card numbers etc.
“This is a "masking" fraud, known as Phone Spoofing,  in which the caller is using MMH phone numbers and representing themselves as MMH employees for the express purpose of stealing personal information,” explained Bob Wolleben, Chief Executive Officer. “There is no technology solution we know of to prevent the random use of MMH phone numbers to scam unsuspecting residents.”
If you should receive any of these calls or know of someone who has please be mindful never to share any personal information over the phone. The circumstances in which MMH actually requires the collection of personal information are very limited. If you receive a "masking" call please let us know ASAP.
“Each of the incidents we are aware of has been reported to local police officials. We intend to apply the full weight of the law to anyone we can determine with law enforcements assistance is conducting these "masking" phone calls,” Wolleben added.
What is spoofing and how does it work?
"Spoofing" occurs when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity, like it is Massena Memorial Hospital. Spoofing is often used as part of an attempt to trick someone into giving away valuable personal information so it can be used in fraudulent activity or sold illegally. U.S. law and FCC rules prohibit most types of spoofing.
Caller ID lets consumers avoid unwanted phone calls by displaying caller names and phone numbers, but the caller ID feature is sometimes manipulated by spoofers who masquerade as representatives of hospitals, banks, creditors, insurance companies, or even the government.
What you can do if you think you're being spoofed? 
You may not be able to tell right away if an incoming call is spoofed. Be careful about responding to any request for personal identifying information.
•    Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother's maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
•    If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent Massena Memorial Hospital seeking personal information, hang up and call the hospital. You can ask the caller their name, department and phone number you can call them back on.
“Massena Memorial Hospital has received several complaints from community members regarding being Phone Spoofed with a hospital number,” explained Mark Brouillette, Senior Director Professional/Practice Management and Ancillary Services. “We have investigated our phone systems and these calls did not come from the hospital. People should ask for a name, department and phone number to call back on. This way they can be sure it is or is not a hospital call.”