Nurses are high-level targets for cybersecurity scams, including spear phishing, impersonations, malware and ransomware attacks. Scammers target the nurses and health care officials because of the highly-sensitive information that is communicated.
An example of a cyber-security threat is official-looking letters from nursing regulatory bodies (NRBs) or other states/federal agencies. These scammers know the business of the NRBs and are connecting with the nurses using messaging like “Your license is suspended or will be revoked unless you connect back with us and transfer funds to fulfill the financial obligation related to this inquiry…”
These scammers also look for nurses who may be vulnerable, such as nurses on probation, sending them fraudulent suspension/revocation notices on forged letterheads (logos swiped on an internet search) and asking the nurse to deposit funds to reverse the sanction or call a phone number in the notice. Scammers are ready for such calls and do their best to get personal information or credit card information. These scammers are not only targeting health systems for thousands of dollars, they have also realized that there is a vulnerable population ripe for further exploitation.
Scam Prevention Techniques
- If you receive a phone call, never give out your personal information during the call. Hang up and then only call a number back that you have determined is legitimate through your research.
- Never reply to a text message asking for you to call the number provided in the text to discuss your imminent “suspension or revocation of your license.”
- Never reply to an email asking for personal information.
- Never call a number provided to you in a suspect letter or email.
- Use your own verified numbers for contacting the NRB.
- Be vigilant! Do not discard or ignore such communication from scammers, but rather call and/or connect with the NRB to report the scam.