The Vermont Medical Society was made aware this week of a
scam targeting doctors in Vermont, across geographic locations in the
state. The physicians targeted have been called, including on the
physician’s private cell phone number after hours, by individuals representing
themselves to be deputy sheriffs from the local sheriff’s department. The
individuals inform the doctor that he or she has a warrant out for their arrest
for failure to appear at court pursuant to a subpoena that they accepted
service on, and that the doctor can either 1) be arrested criminally for
failure to appear or 2) to handle this matter “civilly” by paying a “bond” and
therefore avoid their arrest. The scammers use extensive personal
information to make it seem plausible that they are law enforcement, including
knowledge of a physician’s legal history and mirroring names and cell phone
numbers of county sheriff staff.
What to do if you are targeted by this scam: Do not
provide any personal or financial information to the caller. Immediately
end the call. Call the direct landline of the county sheriff’s department
- as opposed to any number given to you by the caller - to confirm the validity
of the call and report the scam: https://www.vtsheriffs.com/sheriff-department-duties-and-services.php.
Report the scam to the Consumer Assistance Program of the Attorney General’s
Office: https://ago.vermont.gov/cap/stopping-scams/. Reach out to your practice attorney for further guidance.