June 4, 2013
Attorney General Kane: recent robocalls target seniors
Harrisburg, PA -- Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane issued a warning to older Pennsylvanians today about a recent spike in "robocalls" related to medical alert equipment. Kane says the robocalls are designed to deceitfully obtain billing information in order to charge $35 a month for so-called "monitoring services" that may be unnecessary.
In some of the recent calls, the businesses identified themselves as "Senior Medical Alert" or "Senior Medical Advisors." The recorded voice tells people they have been approved for medical alert equipment "at no charge." When people respond, they are then pressured into providing billing information so they can be charged for the monitoring services.
Kane says the robocalls use scare tactics to get seniors to respond quickly. They warn of a "significant rise in the number of senior citizens suffering death and serious life-threatening injuries from a delay in response times for medical emergencies, fires, burglaries or even a simple fall."
Kane says some seniors have gotten follow-up calls from telemarketers that are even more aggressive and harassing than the first. If you get one of these calls, do not give out any billing or other personal information. Legitimate businesses do not use such hard sell tactics.
"Our senior citizens are prime targets for these high pressure sales tactics," Kane said. "We've got to get the word out so that our parents and grandparents aren't frightened into signing up for a service they don't need."
There are many reputable companies that sell medical alert equipment and services.
These companies will provide you with information about their products and services, and written contracts for them. Kane says under Pennsylvania law, consumers have three days to consider (and cancel, if they desire) any contracts they enter into in their home.
Scam artists and high pressure sales schemes have one thing in common: they are very good at finding ways to separate you from your money and personal information.
Kane has these reminders:
If you believe you've been the target of a scam or any type of consumer fraud, please call the Attorney General's Consumer Helpline at (800) 441-2555.
# # #