If you have diabetes, you may have another potential risk: becoming the target of an identity theft scam.

The disease-specific scheme first showed up in Mississippi, where diabetics have reported telephone calls from people claiming to be from the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi and the American Diabetes Association. The callers request personal information such as social security numbers, dates of birth and credit card information.

The scam is all the more effective because the caller knows the intended victim has diabetes.

The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi and the American Diabetes Foundation reported these complaints to the Consumer Protection Division of the Mississippi Attorney Generals Office. While Mississippi is the only state to report the scam, it's very possible that it will spread to other states.

Stay alert

Legitimate organizations like the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi and the American Diabetes Foundation will not initiate a phone call or send an email asking you to provide, update or confirm sensitive information. Before responding to any request for personal information, consumers should contact the institutions directly to ensure the request is valid.

"Unfortunately, scam artists will often use the name of reputable organization to lure consumers into thinking they are dealing with a familiar organization," said Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood. "Because of this, we continue to urge consumers to use caution before acting on unsolicited emails, voice mails, text messages or phone calls requesting personal information. Educating our consumers is one of the most important actions we can take to combat scams like this one."