By Matt Martinez Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service Published Mar 20, 2021 at 11:01 AM

Patients of Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin reported calls last week from scammers, who claimed to be representatives of the health network, asking for financial information as a step toward getting the coronavirus vaccine.

Those affected said the calls appeared to come from the health system, and that the name “Froedtert Systems” appeared on the caller ID. The scammers then asked for credit card information. 

Steve Schooff, director of external communications for Froedtert Hospital, said the health system was only aware of a few incidents of the scams but wanted to keep people from making the mistake.

“We would not ask for credit card information over the phone related to vaccine appointments,” Schooff said in an email. 

Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin officials urged anyone who receives such a phone call to hang up and not provide any information. They also suggest individuals take down the telephone numbers and reach out to local law enforcement.

If you have received a call from a scammer, you can also contact the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection for information and tips.

The website advises you close any compromised financial accounts, put a fraud alert on your annual credit report, and sign up for the Wisconsin Do Not Call Registry.

Lisa Schiller, director of investigations and media relations for the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin, urged people to do research and be skeptical of anything they receive that might seem too good to be true. 

She also recommended directly contacting your doctor’s office or health care provider before giving any personal information. She warned that scammers can make emails and phone calls look and sound legitimate, like the caller ID details on the Froedtert calls.

“This scam is particularly heinous because so many people are in the process of getting vaccines or waiting for more information,” Schiller said.

Schiller recommended for anyone who wanted to learn more about scams related to COVID-19.