Medical and healthcare scams are one of the most common threats targeting senior citizens. As we approach new rules and regulations under the Affordable Healthcare Act (also known as Obamacare), fraudsters are taking advantage of the confusion caused by these changes with a fresh wave of new scams.
The latest healthcare fraud scheme is a phone scam for a fake Medical Alert System. The scammers call you to offer the free advice — in exchange for private personal information that can be used for identity theft or other crimes.
Let’s talk about the warning signs for this Medical Alert System scam and how you can avoid it:
Currently, there are several variations of this scam being reported online. One of the most troubling aspects of each report is that the scammers are targeting victims on the local level. This may be due to the fact that It’s a lot easier for fraudsters to trick their targets when their targets think that the scammer is a local resident.
After all, you’re more likely to trust someone if you think they’re one of your neighbors.
Victims are told that the company was referred to them by a friend, doctor, or even a relative who recommends the free medical alert system. That’s right, completely free! Shipping and handling, too!
Sometimes this comes in the form of what we call a “robocall.” This is when an automated system makes contact with you. You’ll be asked to press buttons to proceed before eventually speaking with someone. Other cases have involved contact coming directly from a “customer service representative.”
No matter who makes contact with you, though, the offer for a free medical alert system is still a scam.
So What’s in a Scam?
These fraudsters are obviously not trying to make off with a ton of your hard-earned money as these medical alert systems are supposedly completely free. But that’s precisely how the scam works.
See, when something is free, it’s less likely to raise consumers’ red flags. How do you get your awesomely free medical alert system, though? Oh, you just have to give up a ton of your personal information.
Ah. So that’s how they get you.
As soon as you indicate that you’re interested in one of these medical alert systems (which, for the record, you won’t receive) you’re asked for a wealth of personal information. And we don’t need to tell you about what kind of things can happen when personal information has been compromised.
Don’t do it. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it’s usually a scam.
Share Your Tips
If you’ve run into this scam in any of its forms, let us know in the comments and submit a free report on Scambook.