Phone scam targets patients of Onslow Memorial Hospital

JACKSONVILLE — Onslow County residents beware — a national phone scam involving hospitals is targeting patients and non-patients of Onslow Memorial Hospital.   Using a technique called “caller ID spoofing”, scam artists are able to make their phone numbers appear to be that of the hospital. It’s an ongoing and frustrating issue, according to Hospital officials.

“This happens to us several times a year, and causes a great deal of anxiety for our patients,” says Amy Sousa, senior vice president of public relations. “This scam is very disruptive and can interfere with a patient’s ability to interact with the hospital and physician clinics. Unfortunately, there’s no way for us to stop this from happening. That’s all the more reason for patients to be extra cautious. If they get a suspicious call, they should hang up and call us back. We want to do everything we can to protect our patients and our community from these scammers.”

The Hospital offers these tips about the phone scam:

  • If you have not been a patient at the hospital or one of its clinics, or are not currently scheduled for a medical procedure, it is unlikely that you would be receiving a call.
  • If you are a patient (or a patient at one of their physician practices) and you are unsure as to why you would receive a call from them, ask for the caller’s name, hospital department and a direct phone number to call them back. Hang up and then call a hospital department directly.
  • You may also call the Hospital’s Patient Financial Services department directly:  910-577-4703

To protect yourself, the Federal Communications Commission says to never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden name, passwords or other identifying information to unexpected, suspicious calls.