On Jan. 3, 2012, the American Dental Association was alerted that many dentists across the country had received a fraudulent membership renewal communication via fax to their dental offices indicating payment should be sent to a post office (P.O.) box in Brockton, Mass. This prompted the ADA and IDA to distribute alerts that afternoon about the fraudulent invoices to members, leadership and staff at state and local dental societies, recognized specialty organizations and other organizations and individuals within the dental community.
The ADA has continued to work closely with U.S. Postal Service authorities. The following is a brief summary of action that has been taken to protect members:
On Jan. 5, within 48 hours of learning about this issue, the ADA filed a civil action in the Boston federal court that issued a temporary restraining order requiring that any mail sent to the P.O. box listed in the fraudulent invoices should be held by the U.S. Postal Service and not made available to the individual renting the P.O. Box.
On Jan. 17, the temporary restraining order was converted into a preliminary injunction, aallowing the ADA to release information regarding legal efforts on behalf of members.
At the time of this writing, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service is considering instituting an investigation, and has also referred the matter to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Boston for possible criminal prosecution.
ADA Executive Director Dr. Kathleen O’Loughlin stated, “We are pleased with the immediate action of our legal team and the efforts of staff to get the word out quickly to dentists throughout the country. We also recognize the actions of constituent and component societies who acted swiftly to post alerts on their websites and help with the communications efforts.”
If you received the fraudulent fax communication, do not send a payment. If you still have a copy of what you believe may be a fraudulent invoice, please forward it to Tom Elliott, deputy chief legal counsel, by email at email@example.com or by fax to 312.440.2562, along with your name and ADA membership number.
Will Sears, Director of Communications