Warning for Older Adults of Phone Scam about Medical Alert Devices
The Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging has recently logged a number of tips from older adults who have stated that they received calls regarding medical alert devices. The senior citizens indicate that initially the call appears to be a human being, but it is actually a computerized calling system that has a way of responding to key words. The caller states that a medical alert device will be provided at no cost to the senior. The caller indicates that a friend or family member has paid for the device, but the caller will not tell you who the friend or family member is that paid for the medical alert service.
If the older adult indicates that he or she would allow someone to come into the home and install the medical alert device, the computerized caller will request credit card information. The goal is to get people to hand over their credit card information.
Some things to remember to avoid being scammed over the phone: Never give out personal or financial information over the phone, especially if you receive an unsolicited telephone call. Never cash a check from an unknown source, especially if you are being asked to wire a portion of the proceeds to a stranger. Never wire money to someone you don’t know who contacts you; it is the same thing as handing over the cash. Most importantly, if it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true.
If you or someone you know suspects you’ve been a victim of a scam or a fraud aimed at seniors, the U.S Senate Special Committee on Aging has now set up a toll-free hotline to help. Anyone with information about suspected fraud can call the toll free hotline at 1-855-303-9470.
For more information, feel free to call the Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging at 716-373-8032 or 1-800-462-2901.