By Greg Gullberg
May 29, 2013
Valdosta, GA - A potential phone scam. Someone calls, saying they're from "The Health Department," asking questions about ethnicity and religion, among others.
The Georgia Department of Public Health says several people have reported getting the calls as of late. It's unclear what they want and whether it's connected to any kind of fraud is still under investigation.
But health officials say one thing is certainly clear, the calls are not coming from the Georgia Department of Public Health.
The Department of Public Health says on occasion they will do telephone surveys. But they'll never ask for credit card information, religious information or try to sell you anything. And if they do, there's only one button you need to press: The end call button.
Yani Francisco is a Valdosta Resident who is weary of unfamiliar callers.
"You should definitely ask questions yourself. You just shouldn't give out information in general. You should ask questions and try to be careful about what information you do give out," she said.
Residents with questions or those wishing to report a suspicious call should contact Georgia's Inspector General at (404) 656-4688 or email@example.com.
Press Release: Georgia Department of Public Health
ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) encourages Georgia residents to be extremely cautious when participating in health-related telephone surveys.
Several residents have complained to DPH about suspicious phone calls. In at least five calls, the caller claims to be calling “from the health department.” The caller then asks questions on ethnicity and religion, among others, and may be trying to sell goods or services. DPH’s Office of the Inspector General is investigating the phone calls.
“Right now, we do not know the real reason for the calls or what the caller is truly looking for,” said Kenneth Bramlett, DPH’s inspector general, who is exploring whether the calls are connected to fraud. “We do know the calls are not coming from the Georgia Department of Public Health.”
DPH does occasionally use telephone surveys to gain information on health trends and it is important to understand the difference. DPH:
About the Georgia Department of Public Health
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is the lead agency in preventing disease, injury and disability; promoting health and well-being; and preparing for and responding to disasters from a health perspective. In 2011, the General Assembly restored DPH to its own state agency after more than 30 years of consolidation with other departments. At the state level, DPH functions through numerous divisions, sections, programs and offices. Locally, DPH funds and collaborates with Georgia's 159 county health departments and 18 public health districts. Through the changes, the mission has remained constant – to protect the lives of all Georgians. Today, DPH’s main functions include: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Maternal and Child Health, Infectious Disease and Immunization, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Emergency Medical Services, Pharmacy, Nursing, Volunteer Health Care, the Office of Health Equity, Vital Records, and the State Public Health Laboratory. For more information about DPH, visit www.dph.ga.gov.