GP practices and their patients in the Nottinghamshire area have been targeted by several scams in recent years.
Scam Email – Pay request from GP
An email, which has been sent to a practice manager in Nottinghamshire, which appears to come from a genuine GP working in the area, has come to light.
Scam Email – Companies House Annual Return
Several GP practices have recently received an email claiming to be from Companies House. The email is actually trying to drop cryptolocker, ransomware and other malware on your computer. These types of emails have a password stealing component, with the aim of stealing your email or FTP (web space) log in credentials. Many of them are also designed to steal your Facebook and other social network log in details.
Scam Email – NICE
Some patients in Nottinghamshire have received an email claiming to be from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The email states that a sample of the patient’s blood had been analysed and results indicate they may have cancer. It is marked as urgent and tells the recipient to open and print the attached blood test results to take to the doctor.
NICE is advising people to delete the scam email without opening its attachment. It is likely to be an attempt to install malware (viruses) onto the recipient’s PC, should they open any embedded attachment.
The European Medical Directory
Practices in Nottinghamshire have been sent multiple copies of ‘directory’ forms from TEMDI addressed to individual GPs. This directory is not free and would cost a practice over a thousand euros a year. Do not respond to the request for information and just shred the forms.
UK Yellow Group
Several practices in Nottinghamshire received an invoice for £1479.95 from a company called UK Yellow Group for their “directory listing”. The invoice had a very similar logo to that of Yellow Pages (Yell Limited). Yellow Pages have been legitimately sending out letters checking organisations’ free entries but the UK Yellow Group invoice had information that rang alarm bells e.g. “send check to..” and the contact number was an answerphone. There was also no registered office address.
Practices contacted Yellow Pages and sent them a copy of the invoice they had received and they confirmed that this is a scam that their legal department are aware of. If practices receive any similar invoices they can contact Yellow Pages on 0800 555444 to let their legal department know.
A patient registered at a Nottingham practice was contacted by a company called Elbon Wellbeing about health supplements. The patient said they seemed to know quite a lot about his medical history so he thought the practice must have given him the details.
They managed to sell him a two year supply of pomegranate tablets costing approximately £300 which they said would cure him. The practice reported the company to Action Fraud on the patient’s behalf.
A practice in Greater Nottingham received an invoice from a company called Ashton Beveridge who claimed to be collecting an unpaid debt of several hundred pounds. They quoted an account number for Powwow (a water cooler company) but since the practice had no association with Powwow they looked into Ashton Beveridge’s background and discovered they are a bogus debt recovery company.
Microsoft/Windows telephone scam
A number of people have recently been targeted by popular telephone scams that attempt to either gain unauthorised access to your PC or trick you into paying to resolve fictitious computer problems. These scams involve users receiving a cold call from someone claiming to work for a well-known IT company such as Microsoft. These calls have been targeted to random numbers. The caller will ask the user to follow a series of instructions on their PC on the pretext of trying to resolve a problem that the caller has ‘detected’. These instructions are designed to either, try and give the caller remote access to your PC (and any data it may contain) or simply to try and make themselves look ‘official’. They may then claim that they can solve the problem they have identified for a fee. No reputable company will contact you via a cold call in an attempt to resolve a problem on your PC that they have identified. Therefore any such calls should be treated with suspicion.