7On your side: Medic alert scam - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

7 On Your Side: Medic alert scam

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Hundreds of consumers in our area have received the telephone calls, telling them someone has purchased a medic alert system just for them.

The caller says, "We're calling to schedule delivery of your medical alert system."

It's the "fallen and I can't get up" type of system you've seen on TV.

The calls come in on the consumer's land line and the cheerful voice says all they have to do is "press one" to have their medic alert device sent to them.

"There's no cost to you whatsoever. Also says here that the shipping has already been paid for, so to schedule the delivery of your emergency medical alert system, press one," claims the unidentified caller.

Jo Ann Beam is one of many who received the call.

"We've had multiple calls, probably about five in the last six weeks," said Jo Ann.

While Jo Ann didn't fall for it, she's concerned others might.

"To me, it was a scam that would hurt some people if they fell for it. I just thought, how can people, is it worth it to have a job to have to do something like that?" she said.

Carmen Million, president of the SWLA Better Business Bureau, says while the calls appear to be local they are likely from outside the country.

"These companies are contacting consumers nationwide. Every Better Business Bureau has received this particular call and every call is basically the same. The only thing that's different is that the number that shows up on the caller ID shows up as a local phone number. And we've contacted the number, we've not been able to get through. The calls are being made from a voice Internet call, so it's not just a normal telephone. They're using a voice over network to get to consumers and they're contacting a large number of people," said Million.
Million suspects people who agree to have the alert system shipped will wind up being victimized in some way, likely by someone seeking their personal information.

"Eventually, they're going to want something from them whether it's their Social Security number, their personal financial information. They're going to want something from that consumer. We haven't talked to anybody who's actually received a medic alert, at this point," said Million.

Million said a number listed on some phones is caller ID 318-309-4967 which she said is a call via Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) which is a call made over an Internet provider network.

Again, Million warns against ever giving personal financial information to an unknown caller.  When in doubt, check it out by calling your Better Business Bureau at 337-478-6253.

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