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Floridians warned to watch out for bogus medical bills

August 19, 2019, Palm Beach, FL — Scam artists are getting craftier, and police are warning residents to beware of a new medical billing scam.

Here is what happens: Fraudsters pose as local business representatives trying to collect a minimal balance on a medical bill.

They provide a copy of a bill that looks legitimate and ask for payment to be mailed to a post office box or they seek credit card information, insurance information and specific facts for “updating purposes.”

Once they have personal information, they can use it to exploit the mark in a variety of ways.

“Generally speaking, people want to pay their bills, and they don’t want to be sent to collections,” says Michael Ogrodnick, spokesman for Palm Beach police. “That’s what scammers do — they prey on those fears.”

To avoid falling victim to this scam, police say to call your medical provider to verify the authenticity of any questionable medical bill, even if it is only a small amount.

Be sure to use the known phone number to your doctor’s office and not the number printed on the bill, which could be fraudulent as well and connect you directly to scammers.

When in doubt, try to pay medical bills in person, and do not mail a check or provide credit card or personal information to anyone whose identity you cannot verify.

If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, call the Palm Beach Police Department for assistance at 561-838-5454.

Source: Palm Beach Daily News

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