By: Mindy Harrington
Senior citizens receive phone calls that offer a free medical alert system. Scammers scare seniors by convincing them to disclose their private information to obtain the so-called free medical alert system. The scammers then use this information to commit identity theft or use their financial information to gain access to their bank accounts.
Callers claim they are with Medicare or a familiar medical provider, or tell you that your “free” medical alert system is ready for pickup if you “press one.” Once you press a button, however, you will begin to receive more unwanted calls and requests to convince you to disclose your personal information.
In some cases, the caller may try to gain your confidence by claiming that an anonymous person or a family member has paid for the alert system and that you must provide your information for delivery or setup. People who continue on this path are then asked for more personal information, such as a credit card number or Social Security number.
The individuals that gain access to this information will then be able to steal your identity and/or funds in your accounts.
Here are a few steps you can take to prevent fraud:
- Never give out any personal information. Regardless of what they say, no legitimate organization, including Medicare, will call to ask for your bank account number or Social Security number.
- Hang up or don’t answer the phone if you don’t know who it is.
- If an offer is too good to be true, then that is most likely true.
- Report suspicious activity. Check out an unknown company before you sign up, especially if business is done over the phone. If a caller seems suspicious, hang up and report the matter to the Attorney General’s Office.