Phone scam targets Genesee County residents, health officials warn

GENESEE COUNTY, MI – Officials in Genesee County are warning residents about a recent phone scam in which people claiming to be with the county health department apparently targeted residents to obtain bank information.

A Genesee County resident recently received a phone call from someone impersonating a Genesee County Health Department employee, according to a Thursday, May 5, news release issued by the county.

The person said they wanted to speak with the resident about a health department grant they may qualify for and then began asking for bank account information, according to the release.

Officials said the person hung up after asking for the caller’s name and badge number, then reported the call to the health department, which confirmed it was not reaching out to residents regarding grant funding.

“If you receive a call and are unsure if it is a scam, ask the caller for their name, a return phone number and avoid sharing any personal information over the phone,” said Dr. Pamela Hackert, the Medical Health Officer for Genesee County. “Report suspicious behavior to the authorities.”

Some tips for avoiding falling victim to scams like the one reported by the county on Thursday include having a list of contact information for family, friends, and health providers who may call regularly. This will help identify whether the call is legitimate.

Authorities also are reminding residents never to share personal information, such as social security numbers, with anyone over the phone. If someone asks for personal information, it is OK to hang up, officials said.

Another tip is to let a call go to voicemail if the number is not recognizable.

“Scammers rarely leave messages,” officials said in the press release.

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