A scam targeting dentists is flaring up again. CDA Practice Support heard last week from a member dentist whose associate received a call from a fraudster posing as a California dental board official. The caller told the associate her dental license had been suspended for suspicious drug activity in Texas and Mexico. Next, the caller might have demanded payment.
The number on the associate’s caller ID was even disguised as a dental board number, but the call was fraudulent.
The scam was first detected in September 2019 leading the dental board to post a fraud alert on its website. Around that time, a local dental society told CDA Practice Support that one of its members reported receiving a call from an individual who claimed to be from the dental board. The fraudster even provided the licensee’s correct license number, but the member hung up when the caller provided the incorrect NPI number.
“Board staff members or investigators will never contact licensees demanding money or payment of any form without conducting an official investigation or inquiry,” the alert from the dental board states. “If you receive such a call, please refuse the demand for payment.” Additionally, dentists should never disclose any personal information, such as Social Security numbers, birth dates, credit/debit card numbers and other such personal information to callers.
In the recent case of the associate, CDA Regulatory Compliance Analyst Teresa Pichay, CHPC, advised she follow the instructions in the board’s alert, which state dentists should contact the board directly by phone (877.729.7789) or email ([email protected]) to inquire if an official investigation is being conducted. The associate did so, and the board confirmed that her license had not been suspended and that she was, indeed, a victim of fraud.
If the caller appears to have a dental board telephone number, dentists are encouraged to submit an online complaint with the Federal Communications Commission.