Scammer calls Henrico woman, claims to be from healthcare company

Scammer calls Henrico woman, claims to be from healthcare company

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - These days, Vivian Ward does not answer phone calls from numbers she doesn't know.

"We're very suspicious about phone calls anymore," said Ward.

Ward is retired and lives in Henrico. She says a few years ago, she and her husband Roy were targeted in a phony IRS call.

"We were threatened for not paying our taxes," said Ward. "I'm not fond of being threatened."

So Ward was understandably suspicious when she got a message from someone claiming to be from UnitedHealthcare, which happened to be her insurance company.

"She didn't identify herself, and didn't say she was from UnitedHealthcare until after she stated she had questions, and she didn't say what the questions were about," said Ward.

The mystery caller asked Vivian to call an 866 number. Instead, Vivian called UnitedHealthcare directly to ask if they tried to contact her or knew that suspicious phone number.

"He said, 'Ma'am, you're in good standing. There's nothing in here that indicated we have any reason to be contacting you'," said Ward. "He said, 'however, I'm going through this and I'm not finding that number at all'."

Ward says the rep went on to tell her she was the second person to call in two days about the mystery number.

NBC12 did a search on Google and found many complaints from people who say they got the same suspicious call.

UnitedHealthcare says if someone calls claiming to be from the company and asks for personal information, don't provide it. Instead, hang up and call the number on the back of your ID card.

"If I'm going to protect myself and my family and everybody else that I see as a victim or vulnerable, we have to take the extra time nowadays to be proactive and investigate on our own," said Ward.

Henrico Police say Ward handled her phone call perfectly. They remind everyone that most companies and businesses will not ask you for personal information over the phone.

The department says if you get a similar call, hang up and call that business directly. Do not call the suspicious number back.

If you feel that you have been the victim of a scam in Henrico, you can always call the Henrico Police Department's non-emergency telephone number, 501-5000, to report it.

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