BOSTON (CBS) – Robocalls aren’t just annoying – they’re now overwhelming hospitals and putting patients’ lives on the line.

A Washington Post report says Tufts Medical Center in Boston got more than 4,500 robocalls in just two hours one morning last April. Administrators weren’t able to block the calls.

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“Many of the messages seemed to be the same,” The Post reported. “Speaking in Mandarin, an unknown voice threatened deportation unless the person who picked up the phone provided their personal information.”

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Scammers are also targeting patients, using a trick called “spoofing” to make it look like robocalls are coming from hospitals.

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“These calls to health-care institutions and patients are extremely dangerous to the public health and patient privacy,” New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., the Democratic chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told The Post. “The FCC and Justice Department need to go after these criminals with the seriousness and urgency this issue deserves.”