Secret Service Making Progress in its Social Security Number/IRS Fraud Investigation

On May 21, 2014, N.H. Medical Society Executive Vice President Scott Colby met with the local U.S. Secret Service special agent working the case of IRS fraud that appears to involve a disproportionate number of healthcare providers.  Providers affected thus far include physicians, physician assistants, APRNs, dentists, podiatrists and pharmacists.   

The problem, which is national in scope and now reaches into 49 states and the District of Columbia, was first brought to NHMS’ attention on April 9, 2014.  This national investigation with international ties (as we learned during our meeting) is being led by the N.H. office of the U.S. Secret Service, which specializes in this type of fraud investigation. 

Since the beginning of April, NHMS – working in conjunction with the N.H. Hospital Association, the N.H. Dental Society and others – has reported more than 190 names to the U.S. Secret Service, most of whom are physicians in New Hampshire. 

Update from U.S. Secret Service:

·         Leads are being developed on multiple fronts – nationally and internationally.

·         Federal agencies involved in the investigation include: U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service.

·         The U.S. Secret Service has identified several suspects and expects to begin making arrests. The suspects identified include individuals who are alleged to have used stolen information of N.H. providers reported by NHMS.

·         The U.S. Secret Services stated the importance of finding those committing the fraud as critical in determining the ultimate source of the suspected data breach.

·         At this time, there is no solid evidence pointing to the source of the suspected breach. 

NOTE:  N.H.’s congressional delegation has also been active in communicating with key federal agencies to ensure continued vigilance in finding the source of the suspected breach. 

What You Should Do: 

As previously reported by NHMS, the U.S. Secret Service continues to recommend the following action by the provider community:

1.    90-DAY FRAUD ALERT:  ALL PHYSICIANS and PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS are encouraged to go to and place themselves on a 90-day credit fraud alert.  This could potentially slow or halt further attempted identity theft activities.  This is only suggested out of an abundance of caution – at this time we have no reason to believe that every physician or PA is at risk.  Please know that a 90-day credit fraud alert could have some minimal impact on your credit profile.  See the Experian Q & A for more details.  We understand that Experian will feed this information and fraud alert to the other two major credit reporting agencies.  If you remain concerned, it was suggested that you go back onto after 89 days to initiate subsequent 90-day credit fraud alerts.

2.    NOTIFY NHMS:  ONLY if you have been affected by the IRS scam OR if you detect unusual or suspicious activity on your credit report, please notify NHMS Executive Vice President Scott Colby by emailing him the following information:

a. Full name:  Last, first, middle initial

b. Home address

c. Phone number 

NHMS will then forward this information to the U.S. Secret Service, who will then reach out to the IRS on your behalf.  The Secret Service may contact a sample of the providers affected as it investigates the origin of this breach.

3.    IRS IDENTITY PROTECTION RESOURCES:  If you are affected by this issue, the U.S. Secret Service recommends accessing some of the tools and information available on the IRS website.  Click here to access the IRS identity protection information page.

Please contact Scott Colby at 603.224.1909 or with any questions or comments.