Women Targeted with Hoax Health Calls

Malicious caller asks questions of a sexual nature

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About 25 women in Hounslow and Ealing have reported malicious health-related calls to their local Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in the last six months.

The hoax callers claim falsely to be local doctors or nurses and frighten patients by telling them they have had abnormal medical tests or cervical screening results and are seriously ill. The callers often ask victims questions of a sexual nature and ask for personal information.

Hounslow PCT has informed the police of these incidents and the police are investigating.

Sue Jeffers, the PCT’s Director of Clinical Development and Nursing, said: “If you receive this type of malicious hoax call, you should report it to the police. If you receive calls from healthcare staff, you should identify the caller and make sure the call is genuine. If you have any doubts or concerns, ask for their name and number and if you can ring them back. Healthcare staff will understand this request and be happy to co-operate. You do not have to give them personal information over the ‘phone.”

Callers who think they may have received malicious calls can telephone Hounslow PCT’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) free on 0800 953 0676.

May 12, 2004