“The purpose of these calls is to possibly gain access to credit card or other sensitive information” said Jim Shulman, Executive Director of the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability. “This information should never be given out over the phone to someone you don’t know.”
Seniors and persons with disabilities have been receiving automated phone calls which say they are recipients of free personal emergency and medical alert services at little or no cost. The typical phone message says that someone has ordered this system for you and the call is to confirm shipping instructions. The listener is instructed to press a button to speak to a customer service representative for verification purposes.
Pressing the button connects the listener to a “representative” who asks for credit card and personal information. If the listener already has a system, the representative poses as the existing provider of the service.
Here are some helpful tips consumer can use to avoid scams like these:
- Do not share any bank or credit card information with anyone that you do not know
- If you receive a call and you are suspicious, hang up
- Do not give out any personal information and ask for contact information from the caller. If they will not provide call back information, it is most likely a fraudulent call
- Do not follow any prompts (even if it is to remove your number from their list)
- If you have a medical alert system and are unsure about a call, hang up and contact your provider or your case manager directly
- Register with the National Do Not Call Registry which allows consumers to opt-out of telemarketing calls to their home or cell phones
If you have been or think you have been the victim of a possible scam, please call your local law enforcement office.
Ryan Ellis, TN COMMISSION ON AGING AND DISABILITY