For many reasons, older people are often the targets of scams. A recent scam that has been occurring frequently starts when the senior receives a robocall, which is an automated phone call from a company that in different versions of the scam calls itself either “Medical Alert System” or “Senior Safe Alert.” In the prerecorded phone call, the senior is told that they are going to be sent free emergency alert equipment. Although the equipment itself is free, there is a monthly charge of $35 each and every month to operate the device, which purports to alert local police or ambulances. Seniors receiving the call are also informed that if they wish to be taken off of the company’s calling list, they should just hit the number 5 on their phone and they will be removed from the company’s phone list. Unfortunately, the entire thing is a scam. Investigations done by the Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin determined that the address given by the company does not even exist.
Anytime you receive a robocall, you should immediately hang up. Robocalls for commercial purposes are illegal so there is no reason to trust any company or person who would contact you in this fashion. Do not click on a designated number on your phone to remove yourself from a calling list because what you actually are doing is informing the scam artist that they have a working number. The best thing to do is to just hang up. Whenever you get a solicitation for a product by phone, even if it is a live person, you cannot be sure that the call is legitimate. If you have the slightest interest in the product or service, you should first have them send written material and then investigate the company to see if it is legitimate.