Hospital reports phony bill collector

WhidbeyHealth officials are warning about a scam artist who is calling residents and pretending to be a bill collector.

According to the hospital, the faux bill collector has been rudely demanding payment by credit card and threatening to place liens on their homes.

Hospital officials say that the hospital may call and ask for payment on overdue accounts but will never ask for personal information like Social Security numbers.

To ensure patients’ safety, the hospital recommends that people pay bills at the online system available at

Those who have questions or need help with medical bills can call 360-678-7656, ext. 4097.

The state Department of Health also reported this week that scammers have been targeting health care providers in the state.

In both cases, the callers tried to get money out of the providers by falsely claiming to be from the Department of Health and “spoofing” the department’s phone number, the state reported.

In one case, a caller contacted a dentist and pretended to be from the Department of Health, claiming the dentist’s license was suspended.

The dentist wired more than $40,000 to an account in Poland in order to fix the problem, according to the department.

In another case, a scam artist also claiming to be from the Department of Health tried to talk a pharmacist into sending money, but she hung up after the caller couldn’t answer certain questions.