PCORI has recently become aware that unknown scammers are spoofing (faking) PCORI’s office phone numbers (e.g., 202-827-7700, 202-627-1885) while making fraudulent telephone calls. Individuals who receive these fraudulent calls are being told that they have won a grant, or some other message. These calls are not coming from PCORI and the callers should not be trusted. Please know that PCORI does not make unsolicited calls to individuals to ask for personal information. PCORI has a strong commitment to the privacy of personal information and it has not provided any information to the unknown individuals making these calls.

What to Do

We recommend you take the following steps when handling phone calls, especially if they are coming from a PCORI phone number:

  • Never give money to someone with whom you don't have ties and did not initiate contact.
  • Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, mother's maiden names, passwords, or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
  • If you receive a call that appears to be from PCORI’s phone number (202-827-7700) and the caller asks for personal information, hang up immediately.
  • Be suspicious if an unexpected caller makes any of the following statements:
    • You've been specially selected (for this offer).
    • You'll get a free bonus if you buy our product.
    • You've won a valuable prize.
    • You've won big money in a foreign lottery.
    • This investment is low risk and provides a higher return than you can get anywhere else.
    • You have to make up your mind right away.
    • You don't need to check our company with anyone.
    • We'll just put the shipping and handling charges on your credit card.
  • If you’ve received a call from a scammer, with or without fake caller ID information, report it to the FTC and the FCC (through the links here).

Posted: March 8, 2019

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