The California Department of Public Health has issued a warning to consumers about phone scammers seeking personal or financial information and claiming to be from the organization.
The department said the fraudulent callers may inquire about a recent surgery or medical procedure in hopes of obtaining banking information, social security numbers or private medical history.
Based on complaints, the department said the callers are often male with heavy foreign accents and primarily target women, some of whom may have had surgical mesh or bladder sling surgery.
“People should be cautious about unsolicited phone calls regarding their personal health,” Department of Public Health Director Ron Chapman said in a statement. “These callers can be very convincing but no one should ever give out their financial or medical information during an initial telephone call. If you receive one of these calls, you should hang up immediately and report it.”
The public health agency said the callers may also hint at the possibility for compensation in exchange for information.
If a call is received, the department advises hanging up and reporting the call to the Attorney’s General office at 800-952-5225 or filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.