DENTISTS have been warned to be on their guard over bogus messages supposedly sent by the General Dental Council.
The regulator sent out an alert yesterday over a number of incidents where the GDC’s name and/or staff email addresses have been used by individuals pretending to work there.
Fraudsters have apparently copied staff names and email addresses shown on the GDC’s website and used these to make comments on internet forums.
In one incident, a comment was left on a dentist’s Facebook page using the name of a GDC employee. In another, a complaint was made about a dental practice via the practice website which claimed to have been made by a senior GDC staff member.
A third bogus comment was made claiming the GDC were taking action against a named dentist, when this was not in fact the case.
A GDC spokeswoman said the regulator had received a small number of calls recently from concerned practitioners relating to comments supposedly made by them.
She said: “A number of recent incidents have been brought to the GDC’s attention in which the organisation’s name and/or the email addresses of staff members have been used by individuals outside the GDC without permission, to try to give the impression that the contact has come from the GDC, when it has not.
“Lots of our staff email addresses are publicly known and the GDC cannot prevent these from being used inappropriately by people outside the organisation. We do not believe this is the work of just one person and there is a possibility it could happen again.”
The regulator warned practitioners to be aware of the issue and advised how to spot bogus messages.
The spokeswoman added: “In any communication issued by the GDC we will always provide a contact name and telephone number so that the recipient will know exactly why they’re being contacted and by whom.
“If a dental professional, patient or member of the public is ever uncertain of the validity of a comment or communication apparently made by the GDC they should call 0845 222 4141.”