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Minnesota Department of Health targeted in 'spoofing' attack

They mimicked the department's phone number to dupe citizens.

Scammers have been posing as Minnesota Department of Health officials in a "spoofing" attack in which they try to get credit card numbers.

Multiple Minnesota residents received calls on Wednesday from people purporting to work for the health department.

They used spoofing tech that allows them to falsify the telephone number and the name that appears on caller IDs, so people thought they were getting a call from MDH.

Using the MDH's main phone number of 651-201-5700, the scammers then asked callers for personal and business information – including their credit card numbers.

"These calls are not being made by MDH, and MDH urges recipients of suspicious calls to not give out any personal or financial information."

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MDH says it did send out an automated message this week, but it was sent only to restaurants and food establishments about the E. coli outbreak related to Romaine lettuce.

The health department's chief information security officer Aaron Call said this kind of spoofing attack is being seen "with increasing frequency and sophistication in Minnesota."

If you do get a call that seems suspicious, don't give out any personal information no matter who they say they are.

The state of Minnesota is reminding residents that legitimate public health calls won't ask for social security, bank account or credit card numbers.

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