Scam artists try to drain HME bank accounts

Sunday, December 6, 2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Crooks in South Florida have hatched a scam designed to steal banking information from HME providers and then use that information to drain their accounts, reported Cigna Government Services, the Region C MAC, last week.

"It blows my mind what people in South Florida will do," said Bruce Brothis, president of Allegient Billing & Consulting, who got wind of the scam last week.

Cigna sent the following warning to the Region C council:

All, we are working on official communication to be distributed by listserv, but I wanted to send a quick heads up on a fraud issue directed at suppliers that has surfaced recently.

Scammers are faxing an information request that looks like it is on CGS/CMS letterhead.  The request asks suppliers to update banking information, and once that is obtained, the bank account is drained.  The known cases are in South Florida, but we ask that all suppliers be aware.

We are making some changes to our forms and processes to try and combat this, but in the meantime the single biggest way for suppliers to protect themselves is to make sure that you only fax to the numbers listed on our website.  As soon as I have more information, and a sample of the fraudulent request form, I will share that with you.

Please distribute this as appropriate within your company, state association memberships, clients and industry contacts.

 Thanks for your help.

Rose Schafhauser, executive director of the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services, heard about the scam through the Region C council.

"I sent (the Cigna notice) out to the Region A council and Region B council in case any other jurisdictions were seeing things they thought were strange," she said.