Sept. 6, 2017 -- Beginning Friday, Sept. 1, Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s (VUMC) Patient Customer Service Line — phone number (615) 936-0910 — began to experience an unusually high volume of calls. Medical Center officials quickly determined the cause of the increased call volume was the result of a fraudulent practice known as caller ID spoofing.
Caller ID spoofing is the act of causing a telephone call to appear to be coming from a number that is not the true originating station—usually with the intention to deceive the call recipient about the caller’s true identity.
After receiving these recent “spoofed” automated calls, which did not originate from VUMC, individuals have reported receiving messages urging them to pay bills for such things as credit cards and student loans.
The spoofed calls appear to be random in nature and not specifically targeted to VUMC’s patients or employees, although actual VUMC patients and employees have also received these calls.
VUMC only contacts its patients by phone, direct mail, or through its secure patient portal MyHealth at Vanderbilt. Any voice messages from VUMC are typically very specific, such as appointment reminders. VUMC does not make calls requesting that individuals make payment on accounts they may have with other unrelated organizations, such as a student loan lender or credit card company.
Anyone who believes they are the recipient of a spoofed call should not share any personal or financial information with the caller.
VUMC has reported the apparent scam to law enforcement authorities and to its telecommunications provider. Consequently, individuals who are recipients of these spoofed calls do not need to contact VUMC for follow up.