ARNPs United of Washington State

Nursing Commission Fraud Alert

Posted about 1 month ago by Nancy Lawton

August 15, 2019

The Nursing Commission was recently made aware that scam artists are calling clinics and offices posing as the Washington Medical Commission (WMC), saying there is a problem with a physician’s DEA registration. The targeted individuals report that the phone numbers provided by the callers appear as legitimate DEA or medical board numbers. This is a tactic used by scam artists known as spoofing where scammers manipulate the information sent to a person’s caller ID to look like a legitimate phone number.

These cases appear to be part of a larger extortion scheme related to scammers posing as government officials. The Medical Board of California reported a similar scheme where scammers posing as DEA agents demanded payment in order to keep a licensee from being suspended. This is not how state medical boards or the DEA operate.

The Nursing Commission wants to take this opportunity to remind nurses that we will never call and ask for your information or demand payment. If you receive a call like this and have questions, please contact us at nursing@doh.wa.gov or 360-236-4703.

How can you protect yourself?

Be aware of how the Nursing Commission communicates with you. The Nursing Commission will contact you via phone when:

  • We are following up about an application you recently submitted.
  • There is a licensing issue we need to discuss with you. Examples include renewal of your license, expired national certification, Nursys E-Notify updates, etc.
  • You are named in a complaint or case being investigated by us.

The Federal Communications Commission advises that if you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company's or government agency's website to verify the authenticity of the request. You will usually get a written statement in the mail before you get a phone call from a legitimate source, particularly if the caller is asking for a payment.

Visit the Federal Communications Commission website for more information on spoofing and how you can protect yourself from this type of scam.