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State officials warn about public health phone scam

The Detroit News

Authorities are warning Michigan residents to beware of phone scammers posing as public health officials.

Several health departments, including Central Michigan, Chippewa, Kent, Livingston, Macomb, Midland, Mid-Michigan, Ottawa and Washtenaw, have received reports from residents about callers seeking personal information that could be used to steal someone's identity, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office said in a statement Thursday.

The callers claim to be from a local health department or Medicare and appear to be calling from health department phone numbers, according to the release.

Local public health and Medicaid officials do not call and request account information, Social Security numbers or passwords over the phone, said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director Robert Gordon.

“Scammers use every tool they have to take advantage of anyone they can,” Nessel said. “It’s important residents remember they should never give personal and confidential information to unsolicited callers. Simply hang up and report the call to our office.” 

A complaint can be filed online or by calling 877-765-8388.