Phishing Email Alert Issued by HHS

John GarnerCompliance, Legislative Updates, Resources

The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced yesterday that a phishing email is being circulated on mock HHS Departmental letterhead under the signature of OCR’s Director, Jocelyn Samuels.

This email appears to be an official government communication, and targets employees of HIPAA covered entities and their business associates. The email prompts recipients to click a link regarding possible inclusion in the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Rules Audit Program. The link directs individuals to a non-governmental website marketing a firm’s cybersecurity services. In no way is this firm associated with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the Office for Civil Rights.

OCR takes this unauthorized use of their material very seriously. If you have a question whether you have received an official communication from OCR regarding a HIPAA audit, please contact them via email at

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