Scam Alert

Scammers targeting seniors with medical alert system

Medical alert scam targeting Columbia seniors

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Missouri Attorney General is warning senior citizens about a potential scam regarding a free medical alert system.

The Attorney General's Office says they have received 15 reports about seniors receiving phone calls about the alert system. The company reportedly offers a free system with installation but puts a person's credit card number on record. The scammer could then charge the customer without notice.

"When the phone rang, I saw it was a California call and I have cousins there, so I went ahead and answered it," said Cynthia McCord. "This very nice man said he needed to set up an appointment to set up my medical alert system. I said, 'I don't what you're talking about.' He said, 'well it's free, it's all paid for.'"

McCord said the call seemed genuine until she realized the person on the other end was not real. While the person seemed to pause, she realized it wasn't answering her questions.

"It was the best robo-call I've ever heard because it really sounded personable and there were pauses," she said.

A few days later, she received another call, also from California, but from a different number. That time, a live person encouraged her to set up an appointment to install the system at her house, but McCord hung up the phone.

"I couldn't understand why they were calling me, and then when he was so insistent it was free, I was pretty sure," she said.

When attempting to call the number, there is no option to talk to anyone about installing the system.

"I'm afraid that there are people who really need the medical alert system, who can't afford it, and when they hear it's gong to be free, it's a relief," McCord said. "I really think people will fall for it."

McCord recently signed up for Medicare and she suspects that it how the scammer got her phone number. She filed a complaint with the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division.

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