It is no secret that elderly people are susceptible to being victims. After all, sometimes they are not in possession of all of their faculties and can easily be duped. Unscrupulous criminals know this and prey on the vulnerable. So this is a warning not to fall for any medical alert scams.
These scams are common, but take different forms. For example, the Better Business Bureau of Cleveland has been deluged with reports of seniors getting phone calls saying they are eligible for a “free” medical alert system. Often times they are told that a loved one has already bought the system for them. Then they are asked to provide bank account or credit card information just so their identity can be “verified.” If they ever do get the medical alert system, they are stuck with a system that they cannot return while paying a monthly service fee that will never end.
Another common scam is when callers tells seniors that they can get a medical alert system, but it will be free because Medicare or Medicaid will pay for it. In no uncertain terms, Medicare and Medicaid will NEVER pay for a medical alert system. If someone tells you otherwise they are either uninformed or lying. Usually it is the latter.
The best advice is that if you get an unsolicited call offering you a free medical alert system, hang up the phone. It is usually a scam. You can go ahead and listen if you’d like, just do not give them any personal information, especially bank account or credit card numbers. And if you ask for a number to call them back, they will usually hang up on you — a sure sign that something is amiss.
We all want something for nothing, but that rarely happens in life. The old adage is true — if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.