Dept. of Health & Human Services
Fraud Alert: Don’t Be Fooled by Health Care Grant Scams
By: Kevin Griffis, HHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
Fraudsters are out there trying to scam Americans, claiming they’re from the Department of Health & Human Services. This recent story from a woman in Philadelphia was typical: She told me that she had received a call from someone who claimed he was with HHS. The caller told her she had been awarded a $2,500 grant, and it was easy to get. All she had to do was send in a few hundred dollars for the application fee, and HHS would send her a check. Thankfully, she didn’t. Instead, she hung up and reported the call.
The success of crude scams like these may seem implausible, but given the frequency of phone calls we get, they also must work – at least occasionally. Fraudsters may be asking for money orders or just looking for personal data, like bank accounts. But don’t be fooled. HHS does not ask individuals for money; it definitely doesn’t dole out grant money in exchange for deposits or ask for your banking information.
Fraudulent calls can be confusing, but you can protect yourself. In addition to protecting your personal financial information, whenever someone contacts you about your health or health coverage, always ask questions and never sign anything that makes you concerned. Keep an eye out for five red flags.