2013-05-24 / Top Stories

Beware Medical Alert Device Scams

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman urged New Yorkers be aware of various scam targeting senior citizens with robo-calls advising that they have been approved for medical alert equipment at no charge.

The messages generally use scare tactics to induce consumers to respond to the offer, warning of a “significant rise in the number of senior citizens suffering death and serious life-threatening injuries from a delay in response times for medical emergencies, fires, burglaries or even a simple fall.”

The automated call identifies the business as “Senior Medical Alert” or “Senior Medical Advisors” and attempts to obtain consumers’ billing information in order to charge those consumers $35 monthly for alleged monitoring services.

“Unfortunately, the elderly are disproportionately targeted by scam artists and are often the victims of fraud and abuse,” the Attorney General said in a media release. “To prevent senior citizens from becoming victimized, we must educate them and their loved ones with information they can use to protect themselves.”

Consumers have contacted his office to report receiving subsequent, more aggressive and harassing calls from this organization in an attempt to obtain consumers’ billing information.

The Attorney General’s office offered the following tips for all to avoid becoming victims of fraud: Never give out billing or other personal information over the phone, especially if you receive an unsolicited telephone call from a stranger; 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’s the same as handing over cash.

If you feel you’ve been a victim of this type of scam or any other type of consumer fraud, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Helpline: 1-800- 771-7755.

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