Fraud Alert – May 5, 2022

Medical Board of California

The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) has learned of a scam aimed at licensees of the Medical Board of California (MBC). In the scheme, an individual falsely identifying themselves as an employee or investigator of MBC has phoned licensees to warn them that their license has been suspended, or a warrant has been issued for their arrest (sometimes both) due to criminal activity. The caller warns the licensee that the suspension of the license will not show up on their license profile page, but that it is in full effect and the licensee is not allowed to treat patients. The caller demands money or other compensation from the licensee to stop the threatened action. The caller also instructs the physician to not speak about the matter to anyone.

The caller may be “spoofing” MBC telephone numbers to make the calls appear to be coming from MBC, or using fake MBC letterhead containing fraudulent use of MBC staff names and signatures to add authenticity to the scam.

If you receive a call from an individual claiming to be an MBC employee and they attempt to gather personal and financial information, please consider the following:

  • Simply take down the caller’s information (including name, title, phone number, and email address), let them know you will follow-up directly with the Board, and end the call.
  • You may also consider ending the call without explanation if it appears suspicious or to be a scam.
  • Contact MBC. Contact information for all DCA boards and bureaus can be found at: www.dca.ca.gov/about_us/entities.shtml.
  • Report the call to local law enforcement authorities.
  • NEVER disclose any personal information, i.e. social security numbers, date of births, or credit/debit card numbers, without first taking steps to verify that the person requesting the information has a legitimate need for it.
  • Be aware that MBC or DCA staff will never ask for credit/debit card information over the phone.

Employment Development Department (EDD) Scam Alert - December 14, 2021

Employment Development Department Moves to Block New Disability Insurance Fraudsters (News Release and FAQ)

SACRAMENTO—The California Employment Development Department (EDD) detected and is quickly taking action to halt a recent move by organized criminal elements to file false disability insurance claims.

The new disability insurance identity theft scam involved suspected organized criminal elements filing false disability insurance claims by attempting to use stolen credentials of claimants and medical or health providers. Medical and health providers certify the existence of a disability that an applicant reports when seeking disability insurance benefits from EDD. Evidence of the scam included a recent increase in new online medical or health provider account EDD registrations and a rise in disability insurance claims.

“The Department saw a recent rise in new online medical and health provider account registrations and strongly suspects most of those registrations were fraudulent,” said Ronald Washington, EDD’s Disability Insurance Deputy Director. “We deployed additional safeguards that further protect providers and claimants from these scams.”

The Department has suspended payments on certain claims until it can further verify information on that claim. EDD is also boosting its medical and health provider vetting process and halting payment on many new claims. These efforts help protect legitimate providers and claimants from further fraud. The filters will slow the process of registering new providers and may impact the time it takes for legitimate claimants to receive benefits. EDD will be contacting providers as soon as possible to complete the additional verification processes.

There is currently no evidence that California medical or health providers were knowingly involved in this latest scam attempt. EDD is expanding its fraud information sharing across state and federal agencies as well as impacted medical groups. California will continue to closely monitor claim activity and take actions to protect the integrity of state disability insurance funds.

EDD continues to urge the public to remain vigilant about protecting personal information when engaging in any online activities. Communication from EDD seeking further information to verify a claim are examples of anti-fraud efforts at work and to stop payment on suspicious claims.

Those who receive communications from EDD and suspect fraud, such as someone filing a claim or creating an account, may want to file a fraud report by visiting Ask EDD and selecting the “Report Fraud” category to complete the Fraud Reporting Form. Victims may also want to file an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Information about how to combat fraud and guard against identity theft is available on the EDD’s Help Fight Fraud webpage.

The state’s disability insurance programs are one of EDD’s four key programs that also include Unemployment Insurance, Employment Tax Collection, and Workforce Development services. Disability insurance benefits provide partial wage replacement for eligible California workers who are unable to work and have a loss of wages due to illness, injury, or pregnancy.

EDD has posted Frequently Asked Questions about the new identity theft scam on the Help Fight Fraud page, along with helpful information and resources to help assist those who may be victims of identity theft.

Fraud Alert – October 27, 2021

Board of Chiropractic Examiners

The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) has learned of a scam aimed at licensees of the Board of Chiropractic Examiners (BCE). In the scheme, an individual falsely identifying themselves as an employee of the Board has phoned licensees asking them to confirm personally identifying information. During the phone call, the scammers attempt to gain the information by telling the licensee someone is attempting to use their license to practice, or their license has been suspended and they’re under investigation.

If you receive a call from an individual claiming to be an employee of the Board and they attempt to gather personal and financial information, please consider the following:

  • Simply take down the caller’s information (including name, title, phone number, and email address), let them know you will follow-up directly with the Board, and end the call.
  • You may also consider ending the call without explanation if it appears suspicious or to be a scam.
  • Contact BCE. Contact information for all DCA boards and bureaus can be found at: www.dca.ca.gov/about_us/entities.shtml
  • If you don’t know who to contact at the Board, call DCA’s Consumer Information Center at (800) 952-5210 for assistance and to get directed to the appropriate entity.
  • NEVER disclose any personal information, i.e. social security numbers, date of births, or credit/debit card numbers, without first taking steps to verify that the person requesting the information has a legitimate need for it.
  • Be aware that BCE or DCA staff will never ask for credit/debit card information over the phone.

Fraud Alert – August 3, 2021

Contractors State License Board

The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) has learned of a scam aimed at licensees of the Contractors State License Board (CSLB). In the scheme, an individual falsely identifying themselves as an employee of CSLB has phoned licensees and demanded money to "activate" their license.

If you receive a call from an individual claiming to be an employee of CSLB and they attempt to gather personal and financial information, please consider the following:

  • Simply take down the caller’s information (including name, title, phone number and email address), let them know you will follow-up directly with CSLB, and end the call.
  • You may also consider ending the call without explanation if it appears suspicious or to be a scam.
  • Contact CSLB. Contact information for all DCA boards and bureaus can be found via this webpage: https://www.dca.ca.gov/about_us/entities.shtml
  • If you don’t know who to contact at CSLB, call the Consumer Information Center at (800) 952-5210 for assistance and to get directed to the appropriate entity.
  • NEVER disclose any personal information, i.e. social security numbers, date of births, or credit/debit card numbers, without first taking steps to verify that the person requesting the information has a legitimate need for it.
  • Be aware that DCA or Contractors State License Board staff will never ask for credit/debit card information over the phone.

Fraud Alert – July 8, 2021

The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) has learned of an attempted scam aimed at licensees of DCA’s boards and bureaus. In the scheme, an individual falsely identifying themselves as an employee of the Acupuncture Board has contacted licensees and attempted to gather personal information.

If you receive a call from an individual claiming to be an employee of the Acupuncture Board (or any other DCA board or bureau) and they attempt to gather personal information, please consider the following:

  • If you receive a call, simply take down the caller’s information (including name, title, phone number and email address), let them know you will follow-up directly with the department/board/bureau, and end the call.
  • You may also consider ending the call without explanation if it appears suspicious or to be a scam.
  • Contact the board or bureau responsible for issuing your license. Contact information for all DCA boards and bureaus can be found via this webpage: https://www.dca.ca.gov/about_us/entities.shtml
  • If you don’t know who to contact at DCA, call the Consumer Information Center at (800) 952-5210 for assistance and to get directed to the appropriate entity.
  • NEVER disclose any personal information, i.e. social security numbers, date of births, or credit/debit card numbers, without first taking steps to verify that the person requesting the information has a legitimate need for it.
  • Be aware that DCA staff will never ask for credit/debit card numbers or information over the phone.

Additional Alerts

Fraud Scam Alert

The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) has learned of an attempted fraud scheme aimed at licensees of DCA’s boards and bureaus. In the scheme, scam artists identify themselves as DCA/board/bureau staff members or investigators and notify the licensee that they are under investigation, that their license may be suspended, or that an arrest warrant has been issued in the licensee’s name, and then they will demand money.

In some instances, scam artists identify themselves as other entities including local police, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The callers may be “spoofing” DCA/board/bureau telephone numbers to make the calls appear to be coming from DCA or the board/bureau.

DCA/board/bureau staff members or investigators will never contact licensees demanding money or payment of any form or personalized information without conducting an official investigation or inquiry. If you receive such a call, please refuse the demand for payment.

Please also consider the following: