Be aware of the latest ploy that criminals are using to trick you into giving away your personal information, account numbers, Medicare number, or social security number. In this new scam, they’re actually using legitimate trademarked names of medical alert device companies, such as “Life Alert” or Phillips LifeLine, to SCAM YOU.
THE PLOT: You receive an unsolicited call or robocall stating that someone has purchased a medical alert system FOR you, and it’s all been paid for. All you have to do is give them permission to ship it and install it. The prerecorded message may ask you to press 1 to speak to a representative to obtain your address, bank account number, and/or credit card number for shipping and installation fees.
THE DANGER: If you agree to the shipping fee or installation fee, here’s what you may get in return:
1. A monthly bill of $35.00 or more each month for a product that may NOT BE LIFE ALERT.
2. A refusal by the scammer to stop withdrawing the monthly fee from your bank or credit card account.
3. An inability to reach a live representative to file a complaint because either they don’t exist or they refuse to answer the phone.
4. A possible stolen identity or total loss from your bank account.
Here’s what you can do to prevent this crime from happening to you.
1. NEVER PROVIDE ANY OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION TO AN UNKNOWN CALLER.
2. NEVER RESPOND TO A ROBOCALL. They are ALL ILLEGAL unless you have given them written and recorded oral permission to do so.
3. NEVER PRESS A KEY TO SPEAK TO A REAL PERSON FROM A PRERECORDED ROBOCALL.
Medical alert systems are important to have if you live alone and you have chronic and serious medical conditions. But, you need to keep yourself safe from criminals who use the names of legitimate busi-nesses to con you. Do your research first, and then select a reputable business after you have spoken to your doctor and trusted family members so that you can find the product that will be best for you.
From the desk of Officer Jane Constant
Senior Relations Division
Nashua Police Department