Medical Alert Scams

According to an article from USA Today, seniors in Michigan, New York, Texas, Wisconsin and Kentucky have reported a new scam involving phone calls claiming victims have been signed up for a medical alert system.

While I haven’t heard of it hitting Indiana or Illinois yet, I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before it does. This type of scam rarely confines itself to a few locations.

Many of the calls tell potential victims that a family member or doctor has signed them up for the system, which is likely a sham to begin with. Seniors who fall for the pitch end up being charged monthly fees and risk putting banking and nonpublic personal information into the hands of potential identity thieves.

If you or someone you know gets one of these calls, the best response is to simply hang up, and do not press any buttons to speak to a “live agent” or anyone else. The callers are not affiliated with any doctor, healthcare provider, insurance company, Medicare, or any other entity. They are simply a rogue company attempting to trick you into paying money for a useless service. You do not have to accept delivery of any devices.

While you’re taking a minute to warn others of this scam, make sure you and your family members are signed up for the National Do Not Call Registry. It’s free, it only takes a minute, and it serves as an instant litmus test; if you’re on the registry and a company with whom you have no existing relationship is calling you, you already know they’re willing to break federal regulations to sell you something. That doesn’t say much for their whole business model, does it?