The Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging has recently logged a number of tips from older adults who stated they received calls regarding medical alert devices. They indicate the call appears to be a human being. The caller states that a medical alert device will be provided at no cost to the senior and indicates that a friend or family member has paid for the device. The caller will not say who the friend or family member is that paid for the medical alert service.
If the older adult indicates that he or she would allow someone to come into the home and install the medical alert device, the computerized caller will request credit card information. The goal is to get people to hand over their credit card information.
Some things to remember to avoid being scammed over the phone: Never give out personal or financial information over the phone, especially to an unsolicited telephone call. Never cash a check from an unknown source, especially if asked to wire a portion of the proceeds to a stranger. Never wire money to an unknown person; it is the same thing as handing over the cash. Most importantly, if it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true.
The U.S Senate Special Committee on Aging has now set up a toll-free hotline. Anyone with information about suspected fraud can call the toll free hotline at 1-855-303-9470.For more information, feel free to call the Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging at 716-373-8032 or 1-800-462-2901.