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Beware Calls Offering Medical Emergency Alerts

Last updated Monday, July 29, 2013 12:06 ET

In recent months, there have been reports of fraudulent telemarketing calls for medical alert systems that target the elderly.

Lynbrook, USA, 07/29/2013 / SubmitMyPR /

In recent months, there have been reports of fraudulent telemarketing calls for medical alert systems that target the elderly.

Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan are only a few of many states where these incidences of fraud have been reported to the local Better Business Bureau.

A major indication of being targeted in a medical alert scam is if ergency medical alert systems at little or no cost at all. Another red flag is when the a call is received from someone caller tries to inform the listener that they have been approved to receive a medical alarm system. These phone calls are usually automated and do not respect the do not call list. These practices are illegal and they are misleading to seniors and projecting a negative image onto the medical alert industry.

Here's how it works:
1. During the typical robocall, an automated message says something to the effect of: "someone has ordered a free medical alarm system for you, and this call is to confirm shipping details."
2. The message then instructs the listener to press a button to speak to a customer service representative to verify information.
3. Once a button is pressed, a "representative" then fraudulently asks for the listener's credit card and personal information.

These recordings and representatives are using a variety of different company names and continuously changing which one they use along with the message to stay one step ahead of authorities. A few of the more common company names that are being used by these robocallers are: "Emergency Alert", "Medical Alert System", "Senior Safe Alert", "Senior Safe Line", and "Senior Medical Lab". Please also be aware that the that these false companies may be impersonating legitimate businesses in order to obtain information illegally. Lifewatch USA is a real medical alarm company and this is not a way that we obtain our customer's business.

Another tactic that the companies involved are using is a telephone spoofing technique which makes it very hard to pin point exactly where that call is coming from. Spoofing makes it difficult to identify the calling party and makes calls appear to be coming from a local area code, which essentially leads to the scam seeming more believable.

Here are some helpful tips for consumers to avoid falling for medical alert scams:

Do not share any personal, bank or credit card information over the phone if you receive an unsolicited call
If you receive a similar call to the one described above, please hang up immediately
Do not follow any prompts or press any buttons (even if they inform you that if you do, you will be removed from their call list)
If you do already have a medical alert system, hang up and contact you provider directly
Register with the National Do Not Call Registry which allows consumers to opt- out of telemarketing calls to their home and cell phones
Ask for the company’s contact information and if they do not provide it - hang up, it is a scam!

If you feel that you have been targeted and are a victim of these types of scams, please contact your local District Attorney's Division of Consumer Affairs.

If you are already on the Do Not Call list, but are receiving these types of robocalls please call: 1 888 382 1222.

Also, feel free to contact Lifewatch USA with any questions or concerns and we will help in any way that we can to contact the proper authorities: 1 800 716 1433

Useful Links
News article from Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel: http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/pi/wisconsin-seniors-hit-with-medical-alarm-scam-nk9tm9k-207071281.html
2. Recording of a call that follows a typical script: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgBWSJXCjcM&noredirect=1
News article from Queens Chronicle: http://www.qchron.com/editions/queenswide/medical-alert-scam-warning/article_46d70dfb-a362-52a1-a127-156315ed5527.html