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ARS Algarve warns of breast cancer screening scammers

Scammers are asking for personal information and “photos of breasts”

The Algarve Health Authority (ARS Algarve) has issued a warning about fraudulent phone calls relating to fake breast cancer screenings.

The health authority warns that women in the region are receiving calls from people claiming to be doctors from the ARS breast cancer screening program.

The callers request “personal and intimate” information as well as “photographs of their breasts”.

ARS has clarified that these phone calls are not being made by healthcare services or the breast cancer screening programme in the Algarve.

It also has expressed concern that these “fraudulent activities may undermine the public’s trust in legitimate screenings conducted as part of the Ministry of Health’s programs”, which aim to “promote prevention and early detection of specific diseases”.

The health authority also says it will report the case to the relevant authorities.

The Algarve’s official breast cancer screening programme has been in place since 2005. Women are called for screenings by the breast cancer screening unit of ARS Algarve, which handles the referral, management, and monitoring of the program.

The screenings are conducted in partnership with the Algarve Oncology Association and the Algarve University Hospital Centre (CHUA).

Women between the ages of 50 and 69 who are registered at health centres in the region are contacted by letter by the unit to undergo free 3D digital mammography with tomosynthesis at the Mobile Health Unit that visits all municipalities.

Alternatively, users can make appointments through the screening unit’s online platform.

ARS stresses that patients are only contacted by phone to confirm their appointment or to schedule one, but no personal data or information is ever requested from users during these calls.

ARS screenings are advertised on their website or through posters, but never through personal contact, particularly phone calls, it adds.

For more information: +351 289 88 99 12 | [email protected]

By Michael Bruxo

[email protected]