Free Medical Alert: Phone Scam Overview
Elderly people are frequently targeted by scam artists. They are often desperate for assistance and may be developing cognitive problems that make it difficult for them to identify scams. Scammers will try to sell fake Life Alert systems to elderly people.
Life Alert is a top-rated emergency alert system that many seniors use to call emergency services in case of a fall or other accident. It's an invaluable service that allows seniors and disabled people to retain their independence. It’s unfortunate that scammers are using it to exploit struggling seniors.
How Does the Free Medical Alert Phone Scam Work?
Most medical alert systems are reasonably priced. Basic systems can cost anywhere from $100 to $200 for installation and then there is a monthly service fee that can range from $20 to $50.
Many seniors on a fixed income may have a hard time coming up with the money for a system like this and other medical supplies. These are most often the victims of free medical alert system and other medicare phone scams.
Scammers know that many seniors are developing physical disabilities. However, at the same time these seniors want to live in their own homes rather than go into assisted living. This makes them a prime target to offer free medical alert systems to.
The scam will often start with an automated message that provides a number to call back to receive your free alert system. When you call back the number you’ll be connected to a scammer who will ask for personal and financial information.
How to Protect Yourself From the Scam
These scammers maximize their odds by choosing aging seniors that may actually need these services. The good news is that you can protect yourself by being diligent and knowing what to look for.
Don’t fall for automated calls.
The scammers almost always use automated calls to reach their victims. Life Alert and other medical alert companies don't use robo-dialers to call potential customers. You should immediately hang up if it isn't a real person.
Read the fine print before signing any contract.
Never believe a stranger that is promising you something for free. Scammers often try to trick their victims into signing a contract for your “free” alert system. If you read the contract carefully, you will see that they plan to bill you a monthly fee for their service.
Don’t give sensitive information to unverified organizations.
Never give information like your social security number, bank or credit card information to someone you don’t know, especially if this is information they should already have.
How Can You Report Medical Alert Scams?
Free medical alert scams should be reported to the FTC. Let unknown calls go to voicemail and if they offer free medical alert systems check the number in our caller ID app for iPhone or our online reverse phone number lookup. Look for feedback from other users regarding whether or not the number that contacted you has been reported.