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.
Many of the calls come from area codes outside of Georgia. In some instances, the caller asks questions about medical and surgical information after telling the recipient that they are with the "department of health.” One resident reported the caller asked to speak to her teenage daughter. In other calls, the caller asks questions about 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 Rick Keheley, 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:
- Will never ask for religious information
- Will never ask for credit card information
- Will never try to sell goods or services
- Will always provide call back or contact information for verification
Residents with questions or those wishing to report a suspicious call should contact DPH’s Office of Inspector General at (404) 656-4409 or firstname.lastname@example.org