I got a call last week from an out-of-area phone number and, uncharacteristically, I picked up the phone. I proceeded to listen to a recording of a man telling me that a friend or family member had ordered me a medical alert system – and paid for it, too – and all I had to do was press “1” to confirm the shipment.
In the back of my mind, I knew it had to be a scam, but I was still intrigued by the message (which sounded live), and wondered for a few seconds if it could be real. The caller listed the benefits of the medical alert system, and the dangers of being home alone without one, making a pretty convincing case for accepting the “gift.”
The tip-off for me was the fact that I am still too young to qualify for senior status, and therefore the odds of someone purchasing a medical alert system for me were slim to none. Were I a bit older, I have a feeling the offer would have been tougher to resist.
Unfortunately, this call is being placed to homes across the country, targeting the elderly, disabled, and diabetic, according to the Better Business Bureau. The scam is currently in full swing in Arizona, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York , Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin… and the list is growing.
I blocked the number on my phone so I won’t continue to be harassed, and I’m hoping my senior friends do the same. Or you can get creative and do what Tammy did:
“I managed to get a live person on the phone. I then proceeded to use one of the personal safety horns.. aka mini foghorn… directly into the phone speaker. Did not receive another call!!!”