Medical Alert Scam Becoming Widespread

Elderly 2

Barbara Adams, 70, keeps getting one of those annoying robocalls that she just knows has to be a scam. The voice implies that somebody, her doctor or maybe her children, signed her up for a medical alert system. It's all free, the recording implies. "And everything is ready to be sent to your home," said Adams, who lives in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. Adams said she even phoned her daughter to double check, if maybe she did sign up for some service. But no, the daughter didn't pay for any medical alert system for her mother.

The medical alert system scam is in full swing in Michigan, as well as other states including New York, Texas, Wisconsin and Kentucky. The Michigan Attorney General's Office has received about 50 complaints about this scam in the past two weeks, according to Joy Yearout, Director of Communications for Attorney General Bill Schuette. The trick is that if seniors do agree to the system in some cases it can cost $35 a month or more to operate.

The scam could also be a way for con artists to obtain bank or credit card information or even a Social Security number to use later in ID theft. Or a way for someone to pressure seniors into paying for other equipment or services. Authorities said in some cases, after consumers press a button to accept the offer, they quickly receive another call asking for personal information, including credit card numbers.

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Source/more: USA Today