W.Va. AG, DHHR Warn Of Potential Foster Family Scam

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, in coordination with the state Department of Health and Human Resources, alerted foster parents throughout the state to a potential scam.

State officials received word late Friday of a suspected impostor scam wherein the con artist sought the Social Security numbers of multiple foster children.

The impostor claimed to represent Aetna Better Health of West Virginia and its Mountain Health Promise program, which contracts with the state Department of Health and Human Resources to assist foster families throughout the state.

“Scams come in all forms, and a scam that targets foster families is particularly disturbing,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “I urge all West Virginians to think twice before giving sensitive information to a stranger.”

Neither the Department of Health and Human Resources nor Aetna will ask for a child’s Social Security number via an unsolicited phone call.

In all instances, consumers are urged to never share personally identifiable, financial and otherwise sensitive information without verifying the legitimacy of the recipient. The same goes for never agreeing to send cash, wire money or provide numbers associated with a credit/debit card, gift card or bank account.

Anyone with questions or who believes they may have been a victim of a scam should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com