DENVER – Attorney General John Suthers today alerted consumers to a recent scam involving telemarketers claiming to be from the “Colorado Department of Health” and offering “vouchers for up to $1,000 in free medical services.”
“There is no such voucher program being offered through the Health Department,” warned Suthers. “These calls are simply an attempt to fraudulently obtain consumers' checking account information in order to commit theft.”
The callers usually have the consumer's name, address, date of birth, and the name of their banking institution, promoting a false belief that they are indeed with a government agency. The callers read the routing number for the bank or credit union and ask that the consumer recite the next five numbers on their checks. These five numbers are the consumer's account number. Once an account number is obtained, it can be used to illegally empty a bank account with one withdrawal.
A national search reflects that over 200 consumers in several states have already been contacted in this scam. The callers have been noted to call repeatedly demanding the information. One Colorado consumer was called eight times in two and a half weeks despite her requests to stop.
“Never provide personal or financial information during an unsolicited telemarketing call,” Attorney General Suthers reminded consumers. “There is simply no way to know for sure who you are dealing with. Legitimate government agencies do not engage in unsolicited telemarketing campaigns.”
Consumers who receive these or similar calls are encouraged to report the incident to the Attorney General's Colorado Consumer Line at 1-800-222-4444.