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Phone ‘spoofing’ scams continue to cause concern

DANVILLE, Pa. – Geisinger has launched a digital information hub dedicated to providing alerts and combating scams, making it easier to help our patients and health plan member protect their personal information. This includes security alerts about phone “spoofing” scams, where a caller deliberately fakes the information that appears on your caller ID display to disguise their identity.

Available at geisinger.org/security, the webpage provides information about the latest security alerts from Geisinger. This includes more information about phone spoofing scams, ways to help protect yourself against becoming a scam victim, and how to contact Geisinger if you have an information security concern. 

“Unfortunately, there is no technology solution to prevent the random use of Geisinger phone numbers to scam unsuspecting patients and members,” said Steve Dunkle, Geisinger’s chief information security officer. “Geisinger is empowering our patients and members to stay safe, and that’s why we’ve created this hub.”

The spoofing technique occurs outside of the Geisinger network, taking it out of the system’s sight and control, but there is no “hacking” of Geisinger’s system. Scammers often use a local number, such as a 570 or 717 area code, or they spoof a number from a company or a government agency that you may already know and trust.

Recently, community members reported receiving calls that used this spoofing technique, claiming to be arranging Geisinger appointments. In these cases, the caller isn’t calling from Geisinger and are most likely trying to get personal information from you, which they can later use to commit fraud or identity theft.

“Phone spoofing scams are regularly reported to our information security office, and our best defense is an informed patient and member community,” Dunkle said. “We continue to work with telecommunication providers, and when appropriate local authorities, to do what we can to help in the fight against these scam calls. We still need everyone’s help in staying aware of the deceitful and malicious techniques being used by scammers and how to respond if scammers contact you.”

Never give out personal information, such as your Social Security number or medical record number, over the telephone — and do not rely on caller ID to be accurate. If you receive a call that is unexpected, suspicious or about which you have any doubts, you should hang up and call Geisinger directly at 800-275-6401 or check your MyGeisinger account for messages.

About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a Research Institute and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With nearly 24,000 employees and more than 1,700 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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