Cryptic Animas Email Raises Fraud Concerns

Two days ago I received an email from "Animas NoReply" with a subject line:

J&J Encrypted Message - Secure! - Animas Encrypted Message - *** PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL ****

When I clicked on the link in the body of the email it took me out to a webpage that required me to "register" to get the content of the message. The registration page asked for all kinds of personal information. At that point I decided to stop.

My suspicions, however, were now provoked. How do I really know that this came from Animas? I understand that the internet spoof frauds have gotten very good at imitating logos and content to look like banks and brokerage accounts.

If it were not from my insulin pump company I would have just deleted it. So I went back to the body of the email looking for other options. I saw an 800 number at the bottom and called it. The person answered with "Global Service Desk." I asked them if this was Johnson and Johnson. The person said yes and do I have a "world-wide number?" I said I have no idea what they're asking about and that I had a question about an email that had to do with my Animas insulin pump. The person showed no recognition with the terms "Animas" or "insulin pump."

I called the Animas help line number on the back of the pump. There was no menu choice for "suspicious emails" so I chose technical help instead. I explained to the technical help person what was going on. I also explained that I had recently received a replacement pump and had already sent the faulty pump back. In fact, the UPS tracking number confirmed that it been delivered to Animas on June 2. He agreed to have a supervisor call me.

I just got off the phone with the supervisor and asked what this was all about. Apparently the email was sent two weeks ago and contained the UPS tracking number of my replacement pump and the email finally delivered on June 2. I told her that I thought sending a cryptic email like this was no way to communicate with their customers. I also told her that I had no idea that this was a legitimate email or some spoofing rip-off artist. And calling the 800 number in the email did nothing to answer my concerns.

She said that the encrypted email was sent to comply with HIPPA law. I told her that I understand that but what's wrong with using the old-fashioned US mail? She said that they defaulted to this style messaging if the customer had an email address on file. I told her that I normally prefer the "green option" of using bits rather than paper but when they choose to send a suspicious puzzle to me, then I prefer the mail!

I hope this post saves someone a little nuisance.

I recall that same full-of-hassles email system. I don't know if it really has anything to do with HIPPA, but you have to0 set up an account with user name and password in order to open the email. For me, I needed an invoice so I had documentation of my portion of the cost for tax purposes. I finally called and had them fax it to me. I also complained to my Animas rep - she's cool and said that was ridiculous. HIPPA my a** no one but us knows what Animas is, and since wee have all sorts of correspondence with the DOC I'll be it is easy to figure out that we have diabetes.

I have had significant problems with Animas, but not the same as yours.

They recently "upgraded" their system, which for me has meant a 3 week delay in the processing of a pump supply order, numerous phone calls during which I was told conflicting accounts of my insurance not responding to the order. The first call was that the insurance didn't reply, and 10 minutes later, another rep told me the insurance had sent them the proper info.

In the last two weeks I have received two separate emails saying that my order "will be shipping early next week" when in fact it has not.

I asked the rep- why doesn't Animas contact the customer in case of insurance delay's or any other delay (as the pharmacy does within hours if not minutes,) rather than not ever telling the customer of a delay, and instead sending out a "do not reply to this email" form letter that states your order will be shipping, when that is not the case?

The rep agreed that I shouldn't have to go through with this, although I am still waiting for my pump supplies 3 weeks after the original order. They have sent me samples, and I have had to get samples from my doctor in the past.

A similar thing happened to me during the renewal of prescription for pump supplies- I called two weeks after placing the order to be informed that they never received the prescription after faxing it, however my doctor office informed me that they never received the fax when I called them.

These delays has happened on quite a few occasions- more than 4 in fact, and I have had to call back and forth from doctors to Animas, from insurance to Animas, to do the job they are supposed to be doing. This happens at least once a year.

This latest delay is the longest one yet, and has occured after the "upgrade" to their system.
There was a form letter describing this recently from Animas which described possible delays,
but certainly an upgrade is not the word I would chose for this new system.

Sometimes I think companies and others use HIPPA as an excuse. I understand its intention but the implementation seems to be a nuisance more than anything.

gw - I guess I haven't done much business with Animas but when I have they've always delivered as promised.

The frustration you describe reminds me of my old mail order pharmacy, Medco. They were a recurring 90-day lesson in patience for me. This went on for years. I know I shouldn't get worked up about these kinds of things, but I do. I have gotten better but it's taken considerable effort.

All I can say is , keep good records and try to not let your blood pressure rise!

For what it’s worth… I’ve been trying to get my usual supplies from Animas since May 5. Unable to reach an agent and the teleprompt system simply indicates the order (placed May 9th) is “in process.” I can no longer use my pump due to lack of supplies.

Called my endo yesterday for advice who promised to get ahold of their local Animas rep. The rep called this afternoon. He said it may be due to lags caused by the changeover to the new system. Nice guy. Offered to send a few emergency rations, check on the status of my order & get back to me as soon as possible.

The two Animas reps I’ve been able to make contact with since early May (using rather extraordinary methods) treated me kindly, expressed concern about my difficulties ordering/receiving supplies, and seemed committed to getting things straightened out.

But why does it continue to be so difficult to reach anything but a computer nowadays at Animas? Is it due to some administrative oversight? Will the “new system” eventually work?


For what it's worth... I've been trying to get my usual supplies from Animas since May 5.

That's terrible, dgzee! It's not as if we can live without insulin. Given your experience, I'm surprised that I was able to get a supervisor to call me back within a few hours.

Your local Animas rep seems to be a big help. I'm not sympathetic with big companies dishing out excuses. Whatever "new system" they can blame it one, I think the problem is bad management. They are not exactly a low profit margin business.

I guess the lesson here is to order pump supplies from Animas well in advance of the actual "need by date." And then you need to pester them with constant reminders and calls when they miss their first delivery.

I usually try to elevate my issue beyond the front-line customer service rep. Having a local rep push from their direction can help too. When you become a big enough pain in the a$$ to them, they will usually give you what you need. I don't enjoy that mode of business, it's distasteful. But insulin is priority one for us.

Let's hope this is a passing phase for Animas. As I said, I have had good performance from them for six years. This email screw-up surprised me.

Thanks for the note Terry.

I’ve had good service from Animas for over 12 years, when I purchased my first pump. Until recently, it’s never been difficult to reach an agent and, once I place an order, it shows up on my doorstep within two weeks, if not sooner.

My current dilemma stems simply from lacking any effective method of contacting a rep for assistance. Hopefully the glitch is just happening to me. But gw’s post (above) reminded me a bit of my own experience of late so shared in case it might be helpful to someone.

Hope i didn’t hijack your original theme about the email. Would have thrown me for a long loop too. :slight_smile: