Scammers bid for patient details

Pennygate Medical Centre, Hindley
Pennygate Medical Centre, Hindley

WIGAN folk are being warned to be vigilant after suspected scammers rang patients claiming to be calling from a health centre.

Residents who attend Pennygate Medical Centre in Hindley were targeted by the alleged fraudsters who claimed to represent the NHS before requesting personal information about health and prescriptions over the phone.

Wigan residents were also told they needed to change their medication and they would be charged for that before asking them to hand over credit card details.

Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) says the calls are probably part of a national scam being tried across the country and are warning residents medical or financial details should not be given over the phone.

Dr Tim Dalton, chair of Wigan Borough CCG, said: “We ask all our patients to be wary of people phoning up claiming to be from the NHS and asking for credit card payments.

“This is not how the NHS works.

“If you have any concerns about a telephone call, ask the caller for their phone number and the organisation name and call your GP practice or the hospital department you are being treated by to check if they are expecting anyone from that organisation to call you.

“We recommend that no one takes any medication sold to them over the phone or the internet.

“You do not know that the medication is legitimate and safe.

“It is important that you always get your prescriptions from the doctors treating you and that you buy any non-prescription medications from a reputable pharmacist or shop.”

Pennygate Medical Centre has already put out its own warning about the suspected scam calls on its Facebook page which has been seen by more than 38,000 people.

The CCG is advising anyone who thinks they may have given details out during a similar call to immediately contact their bank and put a block on future payments from their account.

Suspected scams should also be reported to Action Fraud by ringing 0300 123 2040 or using the textphone number 0300 123 2050.

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