June 10th, 2013
“Free” Medical Alert Scam
The Pennsylvania SMP is hearing reports about a new medical alert scam targeting seniors nationwide. The unsolicited scam calls are pre-recorded messages stating that the senior qualifies for a free medical alert system or that someone has already paid for it. The message instructs seniors to press a number on their keypad to connect with a live person, or to press a different number to disconnect the call or be removed from their list.
If you receive a call like this, do not press any buttons, just hang up the phone. These calls are not from a legitimate company; they are attempts to scam seniors by enticing them with a free device and then asking for personal information.
Remember these red flags:
* Unsolicited calls: Be wary of calls that you did not ask to receive. Hang up the phone.
* Asking for personal information: Never give out personal, identifying information to callers, including your checking account, Social Security, or Medicare number.
* Offers involving anything “free”: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Medical alert systems are not free, and Medicare does not pay for them.
If you believe you may have been the victim of this scam, would like to report another health care scam, or see charges on your Medicare Summary Notice that you don’t recognize, call the SMP at CARIE. We’re here to help. A real person will answer your call. No buttons to push or menus to follow.