July 30, 2013
State Officials Warn Residents about “Free Medical Alert” Scams
Scammers promising “free” medical alert devices have been contacting residents across the state, and consumers need to be take note and spread the word, Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein and Attorney General George Jepsen advised today.
In the past several months, both offices have received numerous consumer complaints about callers posing as representatives for medical device companies. After offering a medical alert system at no cost, scammers then ask for money and personal information in return for the supposedly “free” equipment. It appears that older adults are the prime target of their calls.
“There are numerous phone numbers being used in these scams, which often involve illegal spoofing of numbers and robo-calling,” Commissioner Rubenstein said today. “Our investigators are working to sort out all the possible culprits and put a halt to their unscrupulous practices. But for the time being, consumers need to be cautious and as needed, inform older family members that these scams are going on.”
Spoofing occurs when a scammer imitates a legitimate caller or business. Federal law prohibits the practice if the intent is to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value.
If you receive a call from a company that claims to be one you do business with, and you are interested in the offer, independently verify the legitimacy of the caller and the offer, using telephone numbers, websites or other sources you are certain are reliable.
“Do not give out your personal information in unsolicited phone calls,” Attorney General Jepsen said. “If you receive such a call, the best strategy is to hang up the phone.”
“Whenever an offer seems too good to be true, you can be assured that it’s not true,” Rubenstein said.