Warning: Several units at UAB have received harassing calls from telephone scammers, known as “cyber extortionists.” This is a known issue documented by the FBI and AT&T.
If you receive persistent calls from one of these scammers, it will probably be under the pretense of “payday loan collections.” The scammer may know a lot of information about your identity, including your work number, which they actually obtained from a third party. They will attempt to harass you into making a payment to them just to leave you alone. Otherwise, they will continue to call and harass you at work.
UAB IT and HSIS recommend this activity be reported to the following numbers: AskIT at 996-5555 or HSIS Helpdesk at 934-8888, depending on which group supports the affected phone. To help fix the problem, we also recommend directing the calls to a phone number where they can be screened before sending the call to the department or unit. If necessary, the phone number under attack can be blocked from outside callers.
This allows normal internal operations to continue, until the scammer understands they are wasting their time, and they move on.
Alabama has now been added to a growing list of states with a doctor targeted tax fraud outbreak. Hundreds of physicians in Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, South Dakota, New Hampshire, Michigan, North Carolina, Vermont and Alabama have been impacted.
A bulletin from the North Carolina Medical Society recently said, “The majority of those affected first become aware of it when they receive an IRS 5071C letter advising them of possible fraud. Others are receiving a rejection notification when attempting to electronically file their tax return. It indicates it cannot be submitted because a return has already been filed under that Social Security number.”
Earlier week, the UAB IT Information Security Team received information that a half-dozen physicians associated with a local medical group affiliated with the Children’s Hospital of Alabama have also been victimized as a result of this scheme. We have unconfirmed reports that several UAB physicians may also be impacted.
We are in contact with the local FBI field agent regarding this matter and are asking if you or a physician you know has been affected by this, please contact the UAB Chief Information Security Officer at (205) 975-3117 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.