We all like freebies, but if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The BBB has issued a warning about a scam that preys on the elderly, disabled and diabetic - an automated call promising them a free medical alert system.
Here's the press release from the Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona. Please, pass it along.
Tucson, AZ – June 21, 2013- Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona is warning consumers of automated calls promising them a free medical alert system. The system is supposed to help protect seniors in the event of break-ins or medical emergencies.
BBB has received numerous phone calls from concerned Southern Arizona seniors in recent weeks who say they received an automated “robo-call” from a company identifying itself as “Emergency Medical Alert Systems,” “Senior Safety Alert,” “Senior Emergency Care,” “Senior Safe Alert,” or something similar.
The call appears to target the elderly, disabled, and diabetic. The automated message says that “someone has ordered a free medical alert system for you, and this call is to confirm shipping instructions.” The message then instructs the listener to press a button to speak to a customer service representative for verification purposes, where the “representative” asks for the listener’s credit card and personal information.
These automated dialing systems can place tens of thousands of calls a day. BBB shares some tips on how consumers can avoid being a victim:
Hang up the phone! Do not press any buttons. Don’t even speak!
If you answer and a live person is on the line, ask for the company’s physical address. A legitimate company will never refuse to give this information to its potential customers. If the representative refuses to give out a physical address for the company or other identifying information, it is most likely a scam.
Ask for something to be sent in writing.
Never give your bank or credit card information, or your social security number to anyone over the telephone.
If you receive a call like this, contact the Senior Medicare Patrol’s Arizona branch at 1-800-432-4040. The Senior Medicare Patrol is an organization charged with preventing health care fraud and abuse from being perpetrated against seniors.