BBB Warns Of Free Medical Alert Scam Calls - Senior Alert Medical

BBB Warns Of Free Medical Alert Scam Calls

by Medical Care Alert · 34 comments

Seniors should just hang up on medical alert scam “robo-calls”.  

Better Business Bureau Medical Care AlertAcording to Neil Winget, President of the Better Business Bureau of West Central Ohio, “Other Better Business Bureaus across the country are also receiving similar reports from consumers. The origination of these calls, as deduced from area codes, includes Boynton Beach, Fla., Louisville, Ky., and Cleveland.”

This is a scam that has cropped up sometime in March of 2013.

Here’s how the free medical alert scam calls seem to work:

  • Senior citizen receives an automated “robo-call”  from a company identifying themselves as “Emergency Medical Alert Systems” ( or something similar);
  • Their call list appears to be a list of seniors/elderly/infirm/diabetics, etc., loaded into an automated dialing system, which can place tens of thousands of calls a day;
  • The automated message says that someone has ordered a free medical alert system for you, and this call is to confirm shipping instructions;
  • The call then instructs users to press 5 on their phone to receive their free medical alert system.
  • If you press 5, you get a call back to confirm your free system and verify some information, and ask for a credit card number.

We are receiving reports of this free medical alert call scam  going on nationally – see these stories:

You can see complaints about this from others on this complaint site http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-870-677-3182

How To Protect Yourself From This Free Medical Alert Scam Call

Fight Medical alert scam callsSo what do you do when you pick up the phone with a synthetic voice on the other end? “Our advice is straightforward. Hang up,” Lois Greisman, director of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Marketing Practices Division, told CNN. “There are virtually no legitimate marketers trying to reach you to sell you something using a prerecorded call.”

  • Just hang up. Don’t press 1 to speak with a live operator, don’t even speak. Just put the phone down and slowly back away from the receiver.
  • Log on to the Do Not Call registry and register your home and cell phone numbers.

This won’t eliminate robocalls entirely—companies that already have your permission are exempted, for instance—but it will certainly reduce the volume of these calls. To date, more nearly 220 million Americans have signed up. You can also call the FTC’s complaint line at 1-888-382-1222 or on the DNC website.

And always beware of “free” offers.  Remember, if it sounds too good to be true…it probably is.  Families in need with low incomes can find free medical alert resources here, and each varies by state.

Let us know if you have received any of these fake free medical alert scam calls.  Please post a comment, and share this article.

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura Hamm May 6, 2013 at 6:55 pm

I get these calls every day. Sometimes twice. It is always a different number. How can I stop them. I am on the do not call list

Margaret Houlihan May 10, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Received numerous call at all hours of the day. First I just hung up. Then I listened to the entire call and found out I had to press 5 to end further calls. And then a local news station had the consumer alert. Finally tonight I received a call wanting to come to the house to set up the services. Now what do I do. I told the person no one ordered any product and hung up.

Ralph Carmouche May 13, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Yes, I received one ofthese exact calls this past weekend (5/11/13). The call Originated from 731 area code!!

Rochelle Wilder May 27, 2013 at 8:58 pm

i live in maryland and just received a call saying someone paid for it.

Leslie Weinberg May 29, 2013 at 9:24 pm

They call at least once a day, if not more often, and leave the message on my machine. 646-741-4788 is usually what shows up. When I blocked that number, other variations of 4700 came up on caller ID.

Marion Helland June 8, 2013 at 9:05 pm

The last couple of weeks I have received 4 calls saying I have a Medical Alert Device already paid for and they just need to make arrangements to deliver it. I said that I had not ordered anything and hung up. In the 3rd call the person asked if I knew what a Medical Alert Device was. I said no and had no time to find out and hung up. Today the call was recorded with the same message as the first two. Today’s call came from 612-315-1619 Minneapolis, MN. The other calls were also from Mpls, but I did not write the number.

david June 22, 2013 at 11:38 am

Have been getting calls in the Boston area the last two months one sometimes two per week saying the device is paid for and ready to ship My mother gets them .She is a senior .I hang up on them. I googled the internet to discover what they were about. Good advice here hang up on them .Verizon should have the technology to block them.

Erik July 4, 2013 at 8:50 am

I am receiving these calls almost daily, did not do anything at first, now pressed 5 and the calls still keep coming. Can’t their be a law on the books about obtaining phone numbers and that “ROLLING PHONE NUMBERS” are illegal. You get 1 number to do business with not unlimited numbers. I hope whom ever is doing this is caught and hanged!

Rochelle July 5, 2013 at 10:46 am

I’ve been on the DoNotCall list for years. No problem of my falling for the scam, but I just want them to stop calling. I tried waiting for a real person and then asked to be removed, telling him I knew it was a scam. So I’ll see what happens.

mkvan July 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm

I keep receiving the same calls from the “shipping dept.” just verifying the delivery address, the number calling is 702-763-7378 which is a Las Vegas, NV area code. I keep telling them, I am on the do not call list and hang up.

Linda Dunham July 7, 2013 at 12:34 am

I have been getting 3 or 4 of these calls a day from “John in shipping” purportedly for a medical alert system for several weeks. Hanging up right away makes no difference.

Tammy July 17, 2013 at 12:08 pm

I did receive one of the “free alert” calls. 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!!!

Crystal July 22, 2013 at 8:48 pm

I have received numerous calls about this ‘product’, and we aren’t even senior citizens. The automated ones are most annoying. I have registered with the “do not call” registry, and have pressed the designated keys to be put on their do not call list, but still receive the calls. This really needs to stop!!

Rochelle July 29, 2013 at 11:12 pm

I think Tammy has a good solution. A friend of mine also put the caller on “hold” and came back every half hour to tell them “just a minute.” It worked.

Carolyn August 8, 2013 at 11:33 am

I get these calls almost daily.
I let the answering machine pick up any calls from numbers I do not recognize.

The call goes like this, a man says we have a medical device ready to be shipped to us. Free. (Sounds of shuffling paper) All they need is to verify the information they have.

BTW, the Do Not Call registry is a joke.
I get calls from morning till night from telemarketers. They get around the list by claiming you signed up for something on the internet.

Tina in Vermont August 10, 2013 at 1:26 pm

They are now in Vermont with this scam. For two months have been receiving calls from 820-448-2703 & 209-676-3148. Sounds like the same guy John something with rough voice…. could have been on Sopranos by the sound of him. I have reported this to Attorney General State of VT and
US Do Not Call sites. Even when you punch in #1 or #5 there is no one there so I do not understand what they are accomplishing with this ”scam”. If I ever get to talk to John or Sam or whoever he is I will take the hint from Tammy and hopefully blow his ear off!! Like to aim lower!!

Dennis August 12, 2013 at 4:40 pm

I received a second call today from 810-355-4014 (Brighton, Michigan). I answered because this wonderful town is 20 minutes from my house. I have reported this call to the FCC.

Rod August 16, 2013 at 9:12 pm

We are getting these calls in KANSAS. August 16, 2013.

Lori McPhetridge October 14, 2013 at 5:50 pm

I have received 3 of these calls in a row today. there should be away to stop them. I am already signed up for the no call list before this started to happen. I live in Issaquah, WA

Leslie Weinberg October 16, 2013 at 9:18 pm

I get the calls daily, and I am on the Do Not Call list. I think we need to speak to our local legislators to get some action on this

LJ October 25, 2013 at 5:27 pm

I have received eleven of these calls in the past two days. I send them to my call reject, but they call again from another number. I am on the Do Not Call registry.

Beth T. November 15, 2013 at 12:03 am

I live in Oregon and received one of these calls tonight. Advising the caller that I know this is a scam did no good–he kept on with his spiel. I instructed him not to call again and said I would report him to the FCC if
I was contacted again, but he continued talking. Finally I had to hang up on the caller. No automated message here.

old codger November 20, 2013 at 4:44 pm

•Log on to the Do Not Call registry and register your home and cell phone numbers.

This won’t eliminate robocalls entirely…but it will certainly reduce the volume of these calls.
=======================
And, if you believe that, I have a website you can visit and sign up effortlessly for free healthcare…www.healthcare.gov.

Rosie November 25, 2013 at 11:47 am

I just received this call for the first time. I thought it was someone talking directly to me, but when I tried to say something, it just went on and I realized it was a recording. I did not press the numbers they gave me not even to decline. I knew right away it was a scam as we are not in need of such a thing. I got on-line right away and saw that it is a scam in several states and if I had pressed a number I would have been giving them permission to bill my phone, deducting small amounts every month. And I would never, ever give my credit card number over the phone to a caller such as this. I was reading the comments above and see where many have pressed their numbers to decline, thus probably setting up the monthly charge. I’D ADVISE THEM TO CHECK THEIR PHONE BILLS EACH MONTH FOR A SMALL ADDITIONAL UNAUTHORIZED CHARGE.

Molly Haskell December 3, 2013 at 9:00 am

I’m receiving at least one call a day, sometimes two or three. I don’t answer them, but have reported numbers (either there are several companies, or several numbers) to DNC registry to no avail. Not answering is not the solution. Something must be done to stop these calls!
Molly

Jessica December 16, 2013 at 4:46 pm

I get these calls sometimes 2 or more times a day. Sometimes I press the one button to speak to a person, and other times the phone goes dead. I cussed them out several times after I asked them nicely to stop calling. Today I asked them to stop and the ***** hung up on me. About 90 percent of the time it’s the recording of “John from the shipping department.” It’s so annoying. I get woke up by these calls and inconvenienced. Can’t we do something. Do Not Call List obviously doesn’t work. I’ve considered telling the human on the line the next rare occasion they pick up that I am the FBI and I am tracking them.

Susan Smith January 7, 2014 at 11:44 am

These scam artists have been working Maine for months. I have always hung up on them, but they keep calling, and I am registered with the Do Not Call Registry. I do not have Caller ID so I have no idea from where these calls originate. If given the opportunity, I would cheerfully do these Medic Alert people bodily harm. Their behavior constitutes an invasion of privacy and they should be stopped immediately!

lavalos January 8, 2014 at 1:11 pm

I get these dumb calls twice a day and several times on the weekends. I have listened to the entire message but then I hang up. This all started when I turned 65 I guess that was my welcome to 65 phone call.

Maureen January 21, 2014 at 12:50 pm

I gave the address of my local police department when they asked for an address.

anonymous April 17, 2014 at 9:46 am

I am in north western pennsylvania. They call my house at least every couple of days. I tried just hanging up. Still calling. I tried pressing the number to remove me from the list. Still calling. Today I pressed one and got a woman who i told off and said im sick of you calling here 4 times a week. I’m 40 yrs old, have no need for medical alert crap, and my number is on the do not call list. I bet the calls keep coming. My number has been on the do not call registry since it first was set up. I renew all the time.

Medical Care Alert April 21, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Keep in mind these are SCAMMERS we are talking about…they do NOT respect the DNC or your request to be removed from their lists. Don’t press any buttons when you get these calls….just hang up. Pressing a button just confirms they got a “live one” on the phone.

anonymous July 21, 2014 at 4:19 pm

well its now july and the calls are still coming. multiple times a week. i hang up on them repeatedly. i let the machine get it. i tell them off. i threaten to press charges. nothing works. i work nights and these idiots always call when i’m trying to sleep. i have elderly parents and don’t want to take the phone off the hook in case an emergency arises. besides that, i shouldn’t have to. i have had my phone number for 15 yrs and its an unlisted number. so fed up with this!!

Ken August 9, 2014 at 11:54 am

We receive 4-5 calls from this number per day
We are on the Do NOT Call List.

This is a Senior Citizen Scam from Life Alert in Athens Ga.
Their number is 706-354-0919.

Robby October 3, 2014 at 12:26 am

These crooks have been calling me everyday for months now. I am on the national Do Not Call registry and have always immediately hung up on them. They belong in jail.

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