VA warns to safeguard personal information
August 3, 2015 - VA has received multiple complaints from Veterans, beneficiaries and providers regarding unsolicited medical prescriptions from compounding pharmacies associated with VA Purchased Care Programs.
Solicitations are being made by phone, email and website advertisements in order to promote high-cost prescription compounding creams and supplements to unsuspecting Veterans and their beneficiaries. During these solicitations, requests are being made for a patient’s personal identifying information and personal health information, in order for the medications can be sent directly to the patient.
The technique of requesting personal identifying information is called “phishing” and usually involves cold-calling Veterans or beneficiaries in an attempt to deceive them into thinking a legitimate organization is requesting information. The cold-calling representative or salesperson will normally start the call by talking about a covered benefit for a prescription or other medication or supplement. The representative may also ask about other medical issues in order to increase the number of prescriptions and sales.
Finally, the representative may indicate the medications are being offered as a “free” benefit, even though some purchased care beneficiaries by law can be responsible for significant cost share — in some cases totaling thousands of dollars. In addition to cold-calling, similar phishing scams can also be in the form of unsolicited emails, website advertisements or even direct personal contacts. read more>>>