Beware: Scammers Targeting Healthcare Workers


Few moments can compare to the startling, frustrating, and invasive realization of being targeted by a scam. Over the years, scammers have become increasingly sophisticated in their methods, reaching their victims through various channels. Sadly, healthcare workers, who dedicate themselves tirelessly to the care and well-being of others, have become the latest prey for these deceitful schemes.

The Scams Targeting Healthcare Workers

  1. License Suspension Threats: Healthcare workers across the board have reported alarming encounters with scammers posing as representatives of state Boards of Nursing or even the FBI. These fraudsters induce panic by falsely claiming that licenses are suspended, threatening arrest unless an immediate payment is made. The scammers go to great lengths, using official government phone numbers and possessing personal information.
  2. Impersonation of Law Enforcement: In another scheme, scammers impersonate law enforcement officers, such as “Sheriff’s deputies,” threatening healthcare professionals with arrest for alleged missed court dates. They demand immediate payment of fines, often insisting on unconventional methods like gift cards. It’s crucial to remember that genuine law enforcement officers never conduct business in this manner.
  3. Targeting Travel Workers: Traveling healthcare providers have also fallen victim to scams. Fraudsters pose as recruiters, attempting to obtain personal information, scamming workers with fake housing offers, or even committing identity fraud by requesting social security numbers. Red flags include the absence of a legitimate website, insistence on sending documents via personal email or social media, and persistent communication at odd hours.
  4. Alleged Investigations and Payments: Healthcare workers receive calls claiming to be from government agencies like nursing boards, the DEA, or FBI, alleging involvement in illegal activities. Armed with workers’ actual license numbers, these scammers attempt to coerce payments under the guise of cooperation with an investigation. Workers are urged never to provide financial information over the phone and to verify the legitimacy of such calls by contacting the agency directly.
  5. Extortion Scams Targeting Healthcare Professionals: Healthcare workers should be cautious of new extortion schemes targeting them. Scammers impersonating law enforcement officers, DEA agents, or licensing board staff contact workers, falsely claiming their licenses are suspended due to involvement in illegal activities like drug trafficking. These scammers intimidate victims with threats of license suspension, coercing payments and agreements to maintain silence about the alleged investigation. Genuine law enforcement officers, DEA agents, and licensing board staff never demand payment over the phone.

How Providers Can Protect Themselves

  1. Verify Legitimacy: Always verify the legitimacy of calls or communications from government agencies or unfamiliar recruiters. Use official websites or contact numbers to confirm the authenticity of requests or claims. Call the agencies directly to obtain information.
  2. Protect Personal Information: Refrain from providing personal or financial information over the phone, especially to unknown callers. Be cautious when sharing details such as license numbers or social security numbers, and only do so through secure channels.
  3. Stay Informed: Stay informed about common scams targeting healthcare professionals, and educate colleagues and peers to prevent falling victim to similar schemes.

Take Home

Healthcare workers play a critical role in healthcare, and it’s disheartening to see them targeted by opportunistic scammers. By staying vigilant, verifying communications, and safeguarding personal information, healthcare providers can protect themselves from falling victim to these deceitful tactics. Remember, if something feels suspicious or too good to be true, it’s essential to trust your instincts and take proactive steps to verify its authenticity.

Don’t let scammers undermine your hard work and dedication to providing quality care. Stay alert, stay informed, and together, we can combat these malicious schemes.


  • Protect yourself and your assets by performing your contract work under the umbrella of a business entity. Think about what you’d like your proposed business to be named!
    • Visit your Secretary of State website to see if your chosen name is available
    • Check with your state’s Board of Nursing for state specific requirements
  • File applicable business set-up paperwork
  • The S-Corp Edge: How you structure your 1099 CRNA business will have far-reaching consequences, whether it is a sole proprietorship, a limited liability corporation (LLC), or an S corporation (S-corp). 
    An S-corp may offer several advantages over other business structures when it comes to taxation. In this structure, a business owner is called a shareholder, and the business owner is recognized by the IRS as an employee of the business. What this means is that the business owner must pay themselves a salary through the corporation. The S-corp pays their payroll taxes, which can in turn be deducted as a business expense. Income tax is paid through its owners’ tax returns based on their percentage of ownership. Moreover, any remaining profits have a lower tax rate than regular income. An S-corp may also allow 1099 CRNAs to avoid a higher tax level that other self-employed contractors pay for Medicare and Social Security.
          A CRNA may structure their company as an S-corp serving as the sole owner, with their business income, tax deductions, and losses passing through to the owner, as opposed to being taxed at a corporate level – a potentially smart move for maximizing financial security in the future.
    • Register for an EIN
  • Open a business checking account and credit card
  • Keep track of all your business expenses as these could save you money come tax time!
    • Have an envelope for receipts or a folder on your computer where you scan these into
  • Be sure not to co-mingle your business and personal finances!
  • Remember, as a freelance CRNA, if you don’t work, you don’t get paid!
    • Do you have at least six months savings should your contract abruptly stop?
  • Think about replacing your current benefits
    • Health Insurance
    • Health Savings Account/Dependent Savings Account
    • Retirement Savings Account
    • Life Insurance
    • Disability Insurance
  • Procure malpractice insurance
  • Look for jobs!
  • Apply for state licenses where you want to work
    • Each state needs a different CRNA license (and RN if they are not a compact state). Keep this in mind as some BONs can take 3-6 months to license a provider.
  • Have an employment attorney review your contract
  • Have your contract written to your business and deposit all earnings into your business checking
  • Keep A Schedule
  • As a W-2 employee, your taxable income and amounts taken out for taxes appeared on your W-2 form at the end of every year, without you having to calculate them. But when a firm pays more than $600 for services from an independent contractor, that income must be reported to the IRS.
    What many 1099 CRNAs don’t realize is that they must pay taxes on their income as they earn it. Paying your quarterly estimated income taxes will be a new part of running your business successfully. 
          It doesn’t sound so difficult—keeping track of paying estimated income tax only happens four times a year. But the reality is a late payment can result in penalties and fines from the IRS. Keeping a schedule to help you stay on top of your quarterly estimated tax payments, and paying adequately to avoid underpayment, is imperative in avoiding penalties in the future. Not to mention providing peace of mind!
  • Make sure you have a trusted team of accounting and/or financial professionals who have experience with freelance CRNAs to guide you through this process!
  • CPAs
  • Financial Planners
  • Bookkeepers
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