Common Medical Alert Scams - Buyer Beware

Sarah M - Senior Editor, Apr 06, 2014
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Who would have thought that people would go so low that even personal emergency response systems designed to save lives could be the target of scams? Working with the best medical alert providers is an excellent way of protecting yourself from this growing concern. A few dollars here and there might not cause any alarms. But if you add all of these up then you end up with millions dollars being siphoned into the accounts of these medical scams. 

The fact is that this is happening right now. Medical alert scams take shape in one form or another that even the government has stepped up to protect one of the most vulnerable sectors of the population. Seniors are being victimized which makes these scams even more upsetting. With many of our elderly already struggling with the rising costs of healthcare, having access to life-saving personal emergency service would be hard to resist.

Free Medical Alert Systems

Every day, millions of calls are made by telemarketing companies informing seniors that they have miraculously been enrolled free of charge for a personal medical alert service. One of the major scams that have been circulating lately is “Robocalls” or automated calls that have been offering “free” medical alert systems. These claim that either a loved one or their personal physician has purchased this service for you.

In a report released by the Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB), medical alert scams were included in the list of Top Ten Scams of 2013. Once they have been duped into availing of the “free offer” they were charged with a $35 service fee. The sad thing is that the personal emergency response equipments never arrived and they were faced with reimbursing the “service fee.”

The simplest way to avoid this is type of scam is to simply place the phone down and never press any button. If a loved one does purchase a medical alert service for you they would personally inform you of this. Sadly, many seniors are duped into believing these offers.

Identity Theft

This can be an offshoot of those free medical alert offers or the result of other medical scams. Your credit card or bank account information is required in “enlisting” you for the service. This can then be used for identity theft scams or sold to the black market.

Seniors in particular have been big targets over the years. Aside from the usual bank and credit card information, their medical information in particular has proven to be quite lucrative.

To avoid such medical scams, never offer this information for unsolicited calls.

Grandparent Scam

With social media sites like Facebook offering tons of personal information, it isn’t surprising that this information has also been used for scams. The scam works by preying on unsuspecting grandparents. Calls are made by grandchildren asking for help. Stories like being involved in a car accident for example and other emergencies. These “kids” ask for help telling their “grandparents” that they wouldn’t like their parents to know what happened.

As Hilary Young from Medical Guardian reminds us “Senior scams are a huge problem in this country right now.” “It’s important for seniors to educate themselves about these cons, so that they can remain one step ahead of these scammers.” 

The best way of not falling prey to this type of scam is to become responsible grandparents. This situation where your grandchildren call in times of an emergency is certainly a possibility. But a responsible grandparent would relay this information to the parents who would be in a better position to verify their children’s situation.

No Long-term contract Scams

Some medical alert system providers offer no long-term contracts and advertise that all it takes is for you to pay on a monthly basis. This can be good for seniors who would like to try a service before finally signing up for a long-term contract. But the truth is that these companies require a minimum lock-in period. These can go for a few months before you could avail of their no-long term guarantee. So how can a company that requires you to lock-in for a couple of months label this as a no long-term contract service.

Medical Alert Scams, Protecting our Loved Ones

The business of making money at all costs seems to have hit an all-time low with scams targeting our senior population. It doesn’t take much to fall into these medical alert scams. And what’s really disturbing is it preys on lowly seniors already struggling with paying for their day to day expenses.

The best way of protecting ourselves and our loved ones is to educate ourselves on how these scams work. We all know how utterly upsetting it could be to fall prey into these scams but when it specifically targets our grandparents then this could be considered an all-time low.

 

Information is still your best defense against the Common Medical Alert Scams. To avoid this, check our list of the Best Medical Alerts for the latest information on the Top Medical Alerts providers today.  

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