Preying on the youth and the elderly – it’s hard to imagine what lack of conscious it takes to do such things. Unfortunately, these two groups of the populace are the most targeted by scammers, thieves, and predators of all sorts. The latest in the attempt to unwittingly get to senior’s pocketbooks is a phone scam that promises free medical alert devices for seniors.
Medical Alert Scam – How it Goes Down
The phone rings, you answer…then an automated message begins to explain that a friend or family member has purchased a medical alert device for you. They just need to confirm your delivery details, so if you’ll kindly give them a credit card number, you’re unit will be installed soon. Seniors report that when they try to speak back to the caller, they then realize that it’s a recording as the machine merely talks over their response.
Be forewarned, the scenario and script seem to be slightly changing as the scam sweeps across the nation, but the goal is the same – to get a credit card number to charge monthly for the ‘service’. These clever criminals are indeed asking for what the average cost for medical alert devices run per month, about $35, so many are falling for the con, never receive their device, and are unsure where to go from there.
The Latest Twist on the Medical Alert Scam – Free Groceries
Perhaps the scam wasn’t working as well as planned or maybe a new set of targets was necessary, but now many reports are coming in nationally that this same robo-call offer is promising seniors free groceries up to $1000 for giving their credit card information today and signing on to take their free medical alert device. These groceries are purported to be offered as part of the National Senior Assistance Program, which the Better Business Bureau has investigated and currently considers being a fraudulent organization.
Safeguards Against Senior Medical Alert Scams and Others
Sadly, these types of senior scams crop up frequently, and the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging established a hotline to report senior fraud. Anyone who’s been a victim or suspects such behavior is encouraged to call 1-855-303-9470 to make an official report. Other tips include:
- Don’t press ANY buttons on your phone whether the recording tells you it’s to decline the unit, to speak to a live representative, or to confirm your address for delivery. This only confirms the existence of the number and ensures repeat call backs. Hang up immediately.
- Never provide sensitive personal or accounting information over the phone if you haven’t initiated the call.
- Use your good judgment; you haven’t made it to senior age without it.
Order the best medical alert devices only from a trusted company with a solid reputation like Pioneer Emergency Medical Alarms, and never trust a cold-call or machine call that comes randomly to your home.