1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477) is really the number of the government's HHS OIG hotline where people can report fraud. Scammers are making this number appear on people's caller ID to gain trust.
As we have written about in these Fraud Alerts, scammers love to impersonate the government and will use "spoofing" technology to have a government name or number appear on your caller ID. We have seen scammers pretend to be Medicare, the IRS, local police and now the HHS OIG. So called government imposter scams are effective because people generally trust the government.
Trust this - the government NEVER calls you to ask for your personal information. No government agency will call to ask you to verify your Medicare number or social security number. Never give this information to a stranger who calls you.
Read more about this HHS OIG imposter scam in this
HHS Consumer Alert
FTC blog post
about this scam also has links to more information on caller ID "spoofing" and imposter scams.
And remember that you can always report healthcare fraud to the Illinois SMP at AgeOptions (800)699-9043. We work with the HHS OIG and can help you file a report or direct you to the appropriate entity for your concerns.