Here at The Senior List we’ve been tweeting about the recent Medical Alert Scams, and warning folks about robo-callers trolling for your personal information (AND your money). Reports from all over the country indicate this practice has not only continued, but it’s growing! Here’s the scam… An automated message rings your phone and indicates that someone has purchased a medical alert system for you. The message further indicates that the device is free, and ready to be sent to your home. All the consumer needs to do is press “1” on their touch tone keypad. If someone does indeed fall for the scam, a slimy telemarketer comes on the line and attempts to steal your personal data and your credit card information.
This deceiving practice is so pervasive, it recently hit one of our readers. Take a look at what Maryann has been dealing with first hand (click the comment box to see the string live)! Special thanks to Maryann for alerting us.
Numerous news organizations are now reporting on this medical alert scam including AARP and the Medical Alert Monitoring Association. If you receive these calls, the best thing you can do is immediately hang up (don’t press #1, and don’t wait on the line). Anytime you receive an unsolicited call from a so-called provider, immediately hang up. Also, anytime you hear the word “free” you should be wary and (you guessed it) hang up. As my Papa used to tell me… “Nothing is free in this life!”
IF you’ve already made the mistake of speaking to one of the con-artists (oh I mean associates), you’ll likely receive follow-up calls because they’re now aware of a working number with a heart beat on the end of the line. You can Ignore the follow up calls. If you are so inclined, you can report the fraudulent activity to a number of sources including your local Better Business Bureau (local agencies usually have senior fraud prevention/reporting programs), your State Attorney General’s office, and/or the Medical Alert Monitoring Association at 1-866-388-8618.
Update: If you’d like to hear what one of these medical alert scams sounds like listen up right here: Medical Alert Scam Robocall Recording