Quincy resident warns of convincing bogus medical phone call

Quincy resident Susan Christensen warned of a suspicious call that she received at home last evening, Dec. 16. “The call I got last night came in about 5:40 p.m. (suspicious from the get-go, since it was after business hours) and was from what looked like a local number, 530-283-5807,” Christensen said.

She said that a woman with a thick Eastern European accent identified herself as being with the “Orthopedic Medical Center.” Christensen said she couldn’t recall if the woman asked for her by name, but she thinks that she did. Christensen said that she was difficult to understand, but she said something to the effect “that they were checking with Medicare patients and asked if I was still having lower back and knee pain.” Christensen said that she has had both and the information would have been in her medical records. “I asked which doctor I had seen there; she repeated, ‘I am with the Orthopedic Medical Center,’ but wouldn’t (or couldn’t) give a physician’s name,” Christensen said.

“I told her I didn’t recognize the name of the office she was with and were they in Reno (I wondered if I’d misunderstood her and she was with ROC, the Reno Orthopedic Clinic). She said yes,” Christensen said. When Christensen asked again as to which doctor she had seen, the woman repeated that she was with the Orthopedic Medical Center but then gave me an address on Bucks Lake Road in Quincy.

“I don’t remember the actual number of the address, but when she said Bucks Lake Road, I asked if she was with the hospital. She said yes (though she’d previously said she was in Reno),” Christensen recalled. The woman then asked if Christensen still resided at her Quincy address. “I told her I wasn’t comfortable giving her any more information until I knew what physician she represented, at which point she hung up,” Christensen said. “There was significant noise/conversation in the background; it was a boiler room operation.”

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Christensen called back the 283-5807 number, but it was an out of service number. “I have no doubt that had I stayed with the call, she would have said they wanted to confirm my SSN, my Medicare number, or my credit card number,” she said.

Christensen has contacted Plumas District Hospital as well as her orthopedist Dr. John Foley, who works both in Quincy and Truckee. She is concerned that her medical records at some location had been hacked, but said the caller could have gleaned the information from other sources. “She had just enough accurate information about me that I stayed on the line longer than I would have under other circumstances,” Christensen said. “Be aware that these kinds of calls are happening more frequently and that we all need to be vigilant.”

If anyone else has received a similar call, please contact Debra Moore at [email protected] or call 530-283-0800.