Medical Alert and Home Security Scams
There are two common variations of this scam:
- Robocall offering free system – You answer the phone to a pre-recorded message offering a free medical alert system, a system upgrade or saying someone has purchased a medical alert system for you as a gift. The message may state that the call is from Medicare. You are prompted to press “1” to speak with a live person, who immediately asks you to provide your financial information or Medicare account number to “expedite shipping and handling.” You end up getting charged monthly for a system that you didn’t need or one that is never delivered. Remember… calls with pre-recorded sales messages are illegal unless you have given the company your written permission to call. If you receive an unauthorized robocall, just hang up.
- Door-to-door salesperson posing as your current provider – In this scenario, the scammers come to your door claiming to be with your existing medical alert or home security system. They may claim that the system is due for an upgrade or that the current provider has gone out of business and they are representatives from the new company that has taken over. They pressure you into signing contracts and providing your payment information. You discover you’ve been conned when you start getting billed for two systems: one from your original, legitimate provider and the “new” system the scammers tricked you into buying.
To avoid this scam:
- Ask the salesperson for a photo ID and business card.
- Call your existing provider using the phone number listed on your bill to verify that the employees and the offer are legitimate.
- Rather than making a decision on the spot, ask the salesperson to leave you with literature that you can review.