Over the past several years, seniors across the land have been in the crosshairs of scammers claiming they have an opportunity to receive a cost-free medical alert system. The shyster are able to persuade at-risk seniors to surrender their private info, thus enabling them to commit bank fraud or identity theft. Medical alert device scams need a nuanced approach, especially since the group in focus is the elderly.
How does the medical alert device scam operate?
Notwithstanding the various versions of this scam, there is not much setting them apart. The caller will fluently assert he is with medicare or a better-known organisation. He will further inform you that you are entitled to obtain your free medical alert system by pressing ‘1’. This, however, will only lead you to get more unwanted phone calls. Only this time, these will not be mere automated phone calls. Instead, these will be from telemarketers trying to coax your vital financial details from you. They could also emphasise that a friend or relative has long since paid for the medical alert device.
You only need to give it info or delivery and setup, or a bank account number or credit card number of paying the service fee. For those that do all of these skulduggeries and shenanigans , the vital info is frequently used by scammers to steal their money or even suck their bank accounts dry.
What to do if you are really in need of a medical alert device?
When you need a medical alert device in earnest, just follow the steps given below:
Do the right sort of research.
A legit medical alert device always has a device that includes a working phone number. A good firm always has the right number of positive reviews across the net. It is, therefore, fair enough, thanks to good review websites, if the company’s wares are winning the favour of clients. As said, all genuine contact info would be on the legit firm website. There are a number of organisations that can help you if you feel too weak to do the correct research yourself. These organisations might be of help:
- Age UK;
- British Banking Association;
- Business Debtline;
- Childnet international;
- Citizens Advice;
- Claims management regulator;
- Counselling directory;
- Financial Conduct Authority;
- Get Safe Online;
- Out of Your Hands;
- Think Jessica;
- UK – Safer Internet Centre;
- UK Payments;
- UK Finance;
- Victim Support;
- Which? Consumer Rights.
The cherry on top of this national security nomenclature – Law Enforcement & Professional anti-fraud Specialists!
- National Counter Fraud Authority;
- Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit;
- Insurance Fraud Bureau;
- Insurance Fraud Investigators Group;
- National Crime Agency;
- National Police Chiefs’ Council;
- Serious Fraud Office;
Make a connection
The legit medical alert system companies have teams of customer service experts and experienced sales personnel who give detailed information about their wares. So in case, you have determined to get their product, get their contact info ready to hand.
In contrast to other sorts of products, purchasing a medical alert system is not just a one-time purchase. When you purchase a medical alert device, it is the same as signing up to accept an ongoing relationship with said firm. Elicit the firm’s response to queries regarding the company monitoring centre, hidden fees/charges, and the average response time following the pushing of the button.
A legit medical alert system company can answer all your questions, and that too to your satisfaction. You will be able to answer them if they have reasonable queries, and thanks to all this, you will not need to be bothered again by medical alert device scam calls.
How do you go about protecting yourself from medical alert device scams?
A number of venerable and competent authorities have tried to help keep medical alert device scams out of the picture entirely. However, some of the onus of scamming has to fall on those who do not feel motivated enough to remain vigilant. Vigilance is the one surefire weapon you have to steer clear of trouble. First, however, you must keep your eagle eye trained. Or consider contacting one of the youthful volunteer organizations sworn to cast scammers right out of the land.
Abrupt hang up
Refrain from pressing any key on your phone. Even if they provide you with a number that will put you on the ‘do not call’ list. Pressing a key will indicate to the system that they have reached a live number and will keep on calling you, even when you request not to be called.
When in doubt, don’t give info out.
Do not divulge info if you begin to smell a rat. No credible, legit organisation would be interested in acquiring your social security number and banking details.
Is the gift really free?
Sometimes you would be offered free vacations, discount cards and gift cards. You have to ask yourself: “Is the gift really free?” on no account, give them your mail address, even if it seems an innocent thing by itself. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
Don’t count on ‘Caller ID.’
Many virtuoso scammers have a way of manipulating their phone number to have an area code most likely familiar to you. Unfortunately, just because the number appears to be local does not mean it is.
Report any suspicious activity
Even when you feel you have only an iota of reasonable doubt over the purported medical alert device, you have to go ahead and dial Action Fraud or cognate agencies.
Shield yourself from medical alert device scams with TPS
The Telephone Preference Service is the UK’s sole official ‘Do no Call’ register for mobile numbers and landlines. It enables people and enterprises to opt-out of unwanted live sales and marketing calls. The free registration is swift as well. Doing so cuts down the number of unsolicited sales and marketing calls you get.
Once a number is TPS registered, organisations are legally required to abstain from calling it, per the Privacy and Electronic (EC Directive) Regulations 2003. In the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office enforces the law to fine firms that infringe it. As an individual, your one-time registration will be a lifetime.
Beyond the few caveats, several volunteer agencies can also help the elderly access the right course of action. They can give you a good briefing on how to deal with medical alert device scams. Legit companies with bonafide goods to sell- even medical alert devices – offer full assistance if you show interest in their product. Go for TPS! Finally, a habit of vigilance and mindful awareness will see you a long way in the sidestepping of medical alert device scams.