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Pine Rest grateful the state attorney general launched investigation

The West Michigan mental health service has been the target of a phone scam and hopes a state investigation helps spread the warning

Grand Rapids Pine Rest Christian Mental Health receives calls for assistance, but not like these.

“We are getting, for whatever reason, more calls on a weekly basis saying, hey we noticed this was odd or we noticed this interaction was odd.”

An investigation revealed the oddity was linked to online deception. For months, scammers have been posting fake ads redirecting people seeking mental care to bogus Pine Rest phone numbers. They go to so-called “patient brokers” who ask for sensitive personal information, and falsely claim there are no openings for treatment in the local area, then pressure callers to travel cross-country for services at their own expense.

Pine Rest’s Chief Information Officer Susan Langeland is thankful the Michigan attorney general’s office is investigating.

“We’re hopeful that they can help us actually stop these people who are preying on people in a vulnerable time when they are really just trying to seek treatment and get help.”

Pine Rest has alerted current and former patients through health service portals but wants to spread the word beyond their own patients.

“Please don’t stop seeking treatment. If you are seeking treatment from Pine Rest or anywhere else, just again make sure you go to that provider’s website for all the contact information.”

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