A phone fraud scheme targeting dentists in California has resurfaced. The Dental Board of California is again warning dentists about a phone fraud scheme that involves callers posing as board members and demanding money.
The scammers, which may use a disguised phone number to make the calls, appear as if they are with the board and demand payment after telling licensees that they are under investigation for drug trafficking by the board and other entities, including local police, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and/or the FBI. The scam was previously reported by the California Dental Association (CDA) back in September and June, but there has been a new wave of calls, according to the board.
For example, one local dental society contacted CDA Practice Support last week after one of its members reported receiving a call from an individual who claimed to be from the dental board. The caller did provide the licensee's correct license number, but the member hung up after the caller stated the incorrect National Provider Identifier number, the dental board said.
"Board staff members of investigators will never contact licensees demanding money or payment of any form without conducting an official investigation or inquiry," the dental board wrote in an alert.
If a practice receives one of these calls, the dental board suggests the following steps:
- Contact the dental board via phone at 877-729-7789 or 916-263-2300, or via email at email@example.com to inquire if an official investigation is being conducted.
- If the caller is stating he or she is from U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the scam can be reported using the DEA's extortion scam online reporting form.
- If the phone number appears to be coming from the dental board, an online complaint can be submitted with the U.S. Federal Communications Commissions using their consumer complaint form.
- No personal or financial information should be disclosed.