Geisinger patients and health plan members: Stay informed with security alerts
Stay informed with security alerts
Find the latest updates and safety tips to protect yourself
You can help the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and its partners fight fraud in our community. When you tell the FTC about frauds, scams and other bad business practices, you’re helping the FTC and its law enforcement partners spot and stop scams. To make it easier, the FTC just launched ReportFraud.ftc.gov — a new version of the FTC’s consumer reporting website.
By following a few short steps on ReportFraud.ftc.gov, your report is instantly available to more than 3,000 federal, state and local law enforcers across the country. After you explain what happened, you’ll receive advice about what you can do next to recover and how to protect yourself in the future.
Want to see how it works?
Watch this “How To” video.
Why report fraud?
Because your report can make a difference. The FTC uses reports like yours to investigate, bring cases to law enforcement and alert people about what frauds to be on the lookout for so they can protect themselves, their friends and family. The FTC also uses reports to share data about what’s happening in your community. You can check out what’s going on in your state or metro area by visiting the FTC here.
Help spread the word.
Geisinger security alerts
Several Geisinger patients and members have reported receiving fraudulent phone calls offering them knee or back braces.
The fraudulent callers may claim they are Geisinger employees, Medicare employees or brace manufacturers. They try to get the patient or member to sign up for a “free” brace, which they then bill Medicare for in your name.
In some cases, the fraudulent callers mask their telephone number on caller ID with a legitimate Geisinger office phone number to make patients and members think it is Geisinger calling — a practice known as phone spoofing. They may also spoof a legitimate government agency phone number.
The calls are probably related to a scam that was widespread about a year ago and continues to pop up from time to time.
If you receive one of these calls, hang up. Don’t engage with the caller and don’t give out any personal information. Encourage your family and friends to be alert for any calls that seem suspicious.
You can learn more about phone spoofing here.
Spammers using falsified phone numbers and caller ID spoofing have been targeting residents in our area.
What is caller ID spoofing?
Phone spoofing occurs when a caller deliberately makes a phone call on Caller ID look like it’s coming from one number when it’s actually coming from a disguised, unidentified number. This tactic is used by phone scammers to entice people to answer their phones and collect their personal information — and a recent scam involves calling local residents pretending to be representatives of Geisinger.
Scammers have been using what’s called “neighbor spoofing” so it appears the incoming call is coming from a local “570” or “717” number, a larger, well-known company (such as your banking institute), a government agency (like the Social Security Administration), your healthcare or health insurance provider (like Geisinger), or other agencies you know and trust.
Is phone spoofing dangerous?
Phone scammers use spoofing to try to obtain personal information from consumers, such as their date of birth, Social Security number, account numbers, passwords, credit cards or other personal information that can be used to steal their identity and commit fraud.
If you receive a call from a spoofed phone number claiming to be from Geisinger, it does not mean that our systems have been hacked.
How to stop phone spoofing?
Unfortunately, because spoofing occurs outside of secure networks (and out of Geisinger’s control), you may not be able to tell right away if the number displayed on your caller ID is a spoofed number — so always be suspicious of unexpected callers.
Scammers can sound kind and convincing, and some can sound threatening.
Here are some tips from the Federal Trade Commission to protect yourself if you receive a call like this:
- Hang up the phone. Never release your personal or financial information over the phone if you are not certain of the caller’s identity.
- Don’t give your personal information out. Ask the caller for their name, department and a phone number where you can call them back. Phony callers are unlikely to have this information, but if they do, do not use any number they give you. Instead, use a number that you already know or look up the contact information for that specific department or office and call them back using that number. You can reach Geisinger's phone directory by calling 800-275-6401.
- Note the number of the caller. Keep the number for your records, if possible. Even if it is a spoofed phone number, it may help authorities in pursuing the scammers.
- Submit a complaint to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.
- Alert the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. You can contact the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) here or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.
- Sign up for scam alerts from the FTC here.
- File a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and learn more about spoofing and Caller ID.
- Seek advice on what to do from the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline. You do not have to be a member of AARP to use this service. The helpline can be reached at 1-877-908-3360.
- Share what you’ve learned with your loved ones and those you know.
If you receive a call from Geisinger that sounds suspicious or you suspect may be fraudulent, hang up. Call the department the caller says they are representing by contacting Geisinger's main phone number at 800-275-6401. You can also call our Information Security Office at 570-271-8119 (Mon. to Fri., 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.).
Contact our Information Security Office
Geisinger will never ask you for your password.
If an unsolicited caller asks for your:
- Social Security number
- Mother's maiden name
- Banking information
do not give this information out. Instead, call back using a phone number you know or have obtained from a legitimate source.