Action Line Consumer Alert: Phone scam targeting seniors

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They call with an offer of a “free” personal alarm system.

“There is a company calling saying that they can get seniors a very discounted or almost free hearing aid,” Hawaii Better Business Bureau, Timothy Caminos said.

And they use all kinds of names like “Medical Alert,” “Alert Services,” “Medical Life System,” and “Alert USA.”

“What they’re trying to do is they’re trying to obtain seniors information social security, banking information credit card information,” Caminos said.

But once you give them your information, the charges multiply.

“They’ll say this will only cost you $29 dollars or $39 dollars and what will happen is that they’ll receive a charge month after month after month,” Caminos said.

Seniors have lost anywhere between $80 and $200 dollars, and not everyone gets their money back.

So here are the red flags you need to watch out for:

  • “Free” Offers that require you to pay a handling charge or other fees.
  • Scare Tactics-Being trapped in your own home with no way to call for help can be a scary situation for anyone, don’t fall for scare tactics.
  • Listen for language like “this offer is good for today only!”
  • Implied Endorsement or Affiliation-if a seller claims its product has been endorsed by another reputable organization, check directly with that organization.

“The federal government has taken action on some of these calls to try to protect seniors. The best thing for a senior to know is never rush into any choice don’t make a decision right away do your homework on the company calling you before you make any decision of spend your money,” Caminos said.

If you’ve been targeted, call the Hawaii Better Business Bureau to report it.

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