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Idaho Attorney General, Board of Nursing warn nurses of scam

Scammers have contacted nurses alleging their nursing license will be suspended unless a fine is paid.
Credit: thinkstock

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Board of Nursing (IBN) and Attorney General (AG) are warning Idahoans to beware of a new scam targeting licensed nurses. Scammers have contacted Idaho nurses via phone and email.

The board was notified by an Idaho nurse after she received a phone call from two men, one alleging to be a member of IBN and the other claiming to be an FBI officer. 

The men told the nurse that her nursing license was being suspended indefinitely due to an investigation into her "activities". She was then told she could keep her license if she paid the board $17,500, which the men said would be given back to her at the end of the alleged investigation.

A payment form was faxed to the nurse shortly after.

The phone number used appeared at (208) 334-3110, a number previously used by the Idaho government. However, the callback number left by the two men had an 804 area code, which covers parts of Virginia.

Nurses are also being contacted via mail. A document is sent to nurses that appears to be official, stating it is from IBN and the U.S. Department of Justice.

The letter states that the recipient is under investigation for alleged drug trafficking and will not be permitted to practice until further notice. Nurses are told to contact the officer in charge of the investigation and give an Idaho phone number.

Scammers also reference the nurse's state identification number and send letters to their home address.

"These scams are very targeted in that they're focused on Idaho nurses at a time of heightened anxiety in the medical profession," Idaho AG Lawrence Wasden said. "I find it particularly concerning that these scammers have included address and licensing information specific to their targets. While this information is public record, when used in this manner it makes the communication seem all that more official."

It is currently unknown how many of Idaho's nearly 30,000 nurses have been targeted by scammers. The board and AG's office are urging nurses to contact IBN directly with questions regarding their state license.

It is possible other state-licensed workers could be targeted in addition to nurses, according to Wasden.

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