Attention California State Board of Optometry Licensees - Scam Alert

Recently, the California State Board of Optometry (Board) received a copy of a fraudulent request sent to an optometry licensee as part of a scam. This fraudulent request was sent claiming to be from the Board with a notice of action on the Board’s letterhead. This letter was a forgery using images from the Board’s website and is not valid. The Board has received several similar reports from licensees who have been sent this fraudulent notice.

Please note: Optometry Board staff members or investigators will never contact licensees demanding immediate action be taken, request payment of any type, or request personalized information via the telephone or fax without conducting an official investigation or inquiry first. A licensee will be always notified via U.S. Mail to their address of record if an investigation is being conducted or any licensing fees are due. Further, the Board is unable to accept any payments of any type over the phone.

These fraudulent requests are a scam aimed at optometry licensees and optician registrants.  As part of the scam, individuals will identify themselves as Board staff members or investigators with the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and notify the licensee that they are under investigation, that their license may be suspended, or that an arrest warrant has been issued in the licensee’s name. They may also identify themselves as other entities including local police, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The scam artist will usually then demand money.

The callers may be “spoofing” Board telephone numbers to make the calls appear to be coming from the Board or other agency. Again, if you receive a call from an individual claiming to be an employee of the Board and they attempt to gather personal and financial information, or demand immediate action be taken, please consider doing the following:

  • Take down the caller’s information (including name, title, phone number and email address), let them know you will follow up directly with Optometry Board, and end the call.
  • If warranted, hang up immediately.
  • If any direct threat is made or you feel threatened in any way, please contact local law enforcement immediately.
  • Contact the Optometry Board directly at 916-575-7170 or if you need further information.
  • If you are concerned about your license status, contact the Board or log into your BreEZe account to check.
  • If you don’t know who to contact, call the DCA Consumer Information Center at (800) 952-5210 for assistance and to get directed to the appropriate entity.
  • NEVER disclose any personal information, i.e. social security numbers, date of births, or credit/debit card numbers, without first taking steps to verify that the person requesting the information has a legitimate need for it.
  • Be aware that DCA or Optometry Board staff will never ask for credit/debit card information over the phone, nor is the Board able to accept payments of any type over the phone.
The Department of Consumer Affairs has a page with more information: Thank you for your attention to this matter as the Board continues its mission of protecting the public and ensuring the practice of optometry and opticianry in California.