Watch for Scammers Sending Falsified Documents
The BON has recently become aware of a scam where a falsified letter is used to claim that a nurse’s license has been suspended by the BON due to illegal drug trafficking. The scammers used a fake fax cover sheet which makes it appear that the Department of Justice is also involved with the case. The fake document may include a watermark of the current agency logo on the letterhead, a copy of an older BON logo, and fake signature(s).
Methods used by the scammers often include:
- threatening action against the nurse’s license(s), unless the nurse responds immediately;
- sending multiple fake documents from the BON, Drug Enforcement Agency, or the Department of Justice;
- requesting that the nurse send a large amount of money as a “security bond” via a wire transfer to an international bank account; and
- requiring the nurse to abide by a “protocol” or other requirements where the nurse must remain silent about the investigation, or they will face further consequences or penalties.
Scammers will often include the nurse’s license number and National Provider Identifier (NPI) on the correspondence. Scammers will inform the nurse that some type of incident occurred and the agencies who are alleged to be looking into the incident will keep the investigation quiet if the nurse sends money (cash or wire transfer) or agrees to meet at a neutral location to discuss the situation further.
Nurses contacted by such an individual should:
- Report the attempted fraud to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For more information, go to https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/
- Contact the Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) for the Attorney General of Texas. Visit https://www.
texasattorneygeneral.gov/ consumer-protection/phone- mail-and-fax-scams/how-spot- and-report-phone-scams for more information on phone scams and to file an Online Consumer Complaint.
The BON routinely uses certified and regular mail to conduct investigations and always includes the name and contact information of the BON investigator, including the investigator’s email address and direct dial phone number. Nurses should remain vigilant against scam techniques involving any of the techniques described above, save any correspondence that seems questionable, and report the attempted fraud as soon as possible.