Health Insurance Fraud Alert

Students at other UC campuses have recently been the target of a fraud scheme involving a “clinical trial” from a company called “California Clinical Trials LLC,” or as part of job recruitment for sales representatives to a company called “PharmaPro Solutions” where they were asked to provide their personal health insurance information (link to UC press release). If any UCSB students  have been affected by this, please contact us immediately at Student Health (805) 893-5339 or at studenthealth@sa.ucsb.edu.


Please beware of any “clinical trials” advertised on social media, the web, and elsewhere, and verify that they are legitimate. Do not share your personal health insurance membership information with anyone, other than your health care provider.


Protecting Yourself and Your Information

  1. Beware of so-called “clinical trials” advertised on social media, the web, and elsewhere. Some of these clinical trials are shams, designed to leverage your health insurance coverage to write expensive prescriptions for what are essentially worthless medications. These medications may even be dangerous. The University strongly encourages students and third parties to verify a researcher’s credentials and affiliation before participating in any clinical trial.  Make sure that the informed consent form you sign lists an Institutional Review Board, or Ethics Committee, and contact them to make sure the study is legitimate.  Information about legitimate clinical trials can also be found at www.clinicaltrials.gov. UC runs many clinical trials, and they are absolutely essential to ensuring the advancement of medicine. A genuine clinical trial has important protections for its enrollees. A true clinical trial will rarely offer large sums of money for participants, as here.
  2. Do not share your health insurance membership information with anyone, other than your health care provider; when in doubt, check with your Student Health Center. Your membership number is private, sensitive information. Do not share it with organizations tabling on campus or as part of an employment application. In California, employers can only ask for medical or health insurance information in limited circumstances and very rarely when you are first applying for a job.

We also want to alert you to resources for protecting your identity. Please see important information about checking your credit reports and ensuring that no new accounts were created in your name.

It is important that you protect your personally identifying information (health insurance ID, Social Security number, bank account information, etc.) at all times from unauthorized use.  Your health plan information and medical identity can be valuable to an identity thief. As a result, please take precautions including:

  • You should never provide your health insurance ID or Social Security number to someone you don’t know.  Also, as a rule, avoid sharing sensitive information over email or through social media. 
  • Be wary if someone offers you “free” health services or products, but requires you to provide your health plan ID number. Medical identity thieves may pretend to work for an insurance company, doctors’ offices, clinic, or pharmacy to try to trick you into revealing sensitive information.
 
  • Keep paper and electronic copies of your medical and health insurance records in a safe place. Shred outdated health insurance forms, prescription and physician statements, and the labels from prescription bottles before you throw them out.
 
  • Before you provide sensitive personal information to a website that asks for your Social Security number, insurance account numbers, or details about your health, find out why the information is needed, how it will be kept safe, whether it will be shared, and with whom.  If you decide to share your information online, first read the privacy policy on the website and look for a lock icon on the browser’s status bar or a URL that begins “https:” the “s” is for secure.

Additional resources regarding how to protect yourself from identity theft can be found HERE.