New HampshireDepartment of JusticeOffice of the Attorney General

News Release

For Immediate Release
February 11, 2022

Bryan Townsend, II, Assistant Attorney General
Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau | (603) 271-7094

Jake Leon, Director
Department of Health and Human Services
Public Information Office
Work: (603) 271-9290 | Cell: (603) 545-2964

Consumer Alert: Attorney General and Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Warn About Fake Medicaid Check Scam

Concord, NH – Attorney General John M. Formella and Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette issue a Consumer alert warning about recent reports of scammers attempting to defraud consumers using fake checks purportedly issued by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services ("DHHS").

In each case, the scammers sent a physical check for "Medicaid payments" to the consumer by mail that listed the New Hampshire "DHHS – Bureau of Finance" as the payor. The checks listed the consumer as payee, and at least one check was claimed to be for $3,300. One of the consumers received the check from a would-be buyer during a transaction through the online marketplace Craigslist. The would-be buyer (the scammer) e-mailed the consumer instructing him to deposit the funds into the consumer's bank account and to wait for additional details "to remit certain funds from the check" back to the would-be buyer.

This is commonly known as a "fake check scam." The fake check scam involves scammers, often in transactions through online marketplaces such as Craigslist, sending fake checks to the consumer valued in excess of the amount agreed upon for the transaction. The scammer instructs the consumer to deposit the check and then to send funds back to the scammer for the difference. Believing that the check will clear, consumers send the money along with any property sold to the scammer. However, because the check is fake, it does not clear, and the consumer has lost both the money and the property.

Commissioner Shibinette instructs consumers that:

  • NH Medicaid does not send payment checks to individuals who are not enrolled in NH Medicaid;
  • Only providers enrolled in NH Medicaid receive NH Medicaid payment for covered services provided to NH Medicaid beneficiaries; and
  • Reimbursement of NH Medicaid beneficiaries for covered services is not issued by NH Medicaid.

Attorney General Formella and Commissioner Shibinette warn consumers of the following signs of a fake check scam:

  • The buyer offers to pay only by check (often by "certified check") and refuses to use any secure online payment method;
  • The buyer sends a check from a source you are unfamiliar with, such as a State governmental agency or a business;
  • The check is valued at more than the agreed-upon purchase price and the buyer requests immediate remittance of the difference;
  • E-mails or other correspondence from the buyer contain poor grammar or misspelled words.

To avoid falling victim to a fake check scam, be cautious when receiving checks from strangers, especially when that check purports to be issued by a government agency or business with which you have no association. If you have lost money or property as a result of a fake check scam, please call your local police department and the New Hampshire Consumer Protection Hotline at (603) 271-3641. Additionally, if you have received a fraudulent check by mail, please report the incident to the United States Postal Inspector's Office:

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New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658