The Federal Trade Commission and the Florida Attorney General have shut down a medical alert scam that preyed on senior citizens. It is yet another example proving that all people, especially the elderly, have to beware of such unscrupulous operators.
According to the complaint, the defendants would bombard seniors with robocalls. The recording claimed they were eligible to receive a free medical alert system purchased for them by a friend or family member. They were instructed to press one on their telephone if they wanted more information.
If the button was pressed, they were sent to a live operator who continued the ruse. They claimed their system is recommended by the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, and the National Institute on Aging.
The operator would also say that the $34.95 monitoring fee would only be charged upon installation and activation. In fact the fee was charged immediately.
All told seniors paid these people nearly $23 million. That money will be paid back as part of the settlement.
“We must do everything within our power to protect Florida’s consumers. The scheme we have stopped allegedly targeted Florida’s senior citizens, and we, along with our Federal Trade Commission partners, have held these individuals accountable,” said Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
While this medical alert scam has been shut down, there are still plenty of others out there. There is one going around Colorado that claims the AARP is giving away a free medical alert system as well as $3000 in grocery coupons. It is a lie.
The best thing to do if you get an unsolicited call like this is to simply hang up the phone. No one gets anything for free. You should just follow the old adage that if a deal seems to good to be true, if probably is.
If you really want a medical alert system, buy one yourself. And as luck would have it, you are at the best place to begin shopping!