Health department warns of a phone scam impersonating employees

FLINT — Genesee County Health Department (GCHD) is alerting the community of a phone scam targeting county residents.

A Genesee County resident received a phone call from someone impersonating an employee of the Genesee County Health Department regarding a health department funded grant this resident qualified for.

The scammer then went on to ask the resident for their bank information in order to apply for this grant. Luckily, after asking for the scammer’s name and badge number, the resident hung up and decided to call the health department to report this call, where we confirmed that they were not an employee and it was a scam.

Genesee County residents should be advised that the GCHD would never call and ask for your bank account information.

“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. Hackert, Medical Health Officer for Genesee County, “Report suspicious behavior to the authorities.”

Concerned residents can report scam calls by calling the non-emergency phone number at the local police or Sheriff’s Office.

Avoid becoming a victim of phone scams or identity theft by:

• Making a list of contact information for family members, close friends, health providers or anyone who may call regularly. This will help you know if the call is legitimate.

• Letting a call go to voicemail if you do not recognize a phone number; Scammers rarely leave messages.

• Hanging up if a stranger asks for personal or financial information. If you do answer the phone, it’s OK to hang up.

• Not sharing any personal information such as your social security number to anyone over the telephone.

For free up-to-date public health information, visit www.gchd.us or find us on Facebook. — G.G.