NYSED warns of phishing scam targeting licensed professionals

Posted at 10:49 AM, Feb 24, 2021

NEW YORK (WKBW) — The New York State Education Department is warning of a phishing scam targeting licensed professionals.

NYSED says the scam involves telephone calls from individuals posing as NYSED employees or law enforcement in an attempt to defraud or extort licensed professionals such as physicians and pharmacists.

According to NYSED, the scammer tells the professional their license has been suspended and payment is required to reverse the suspension and avoid further charges. The scammer then requests the professional's social security number and an immediate bond payment.

"Using phone 'spoofing' technology, the phone calls and faxes appeared to come from real government agencies," a release says. "Numerous pages of official looking documents that appear to be from New York State, the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI, Trans Union and the New York State Office of Professions are then sent to these licensed professionals which contain publicly available information including their license number, National Provider Identifier (NPI) number, name, address, and other personal information."

NYSED says it will never phone or fax an individual regarding a bond fee or payments related to an ongoing investigation of professional misconduct. If you receive a similar phone call you should hang up and report it to law enforcement.

“It is truly unspeakable that during the challenges of this pandemic there are individuals intentionally seeking to defraud the nurses, pharmacists and other professionals who have been heroes through all of this,” said Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. “I encourage anyone that receives a suspicious call to immediately contact the FBI and your local law enforcement officials to report the incident. Thank you all for everything you have done throughout the pandemic.”