Monday, July 01, 2013

Note to those who are elderly or disabled and those who know someone who is.... 

This is not one of those endlessly forwarded urban legends. This actually happened to me on Saturday. 

Apparently, someone has gotten my phone number from a list of Medicare recipients because I keep getting robo-calls directed at senior citizens. I am not a senior but am on Medicare due to disability.

On Saturday, I got a live call from a man who said he was with the company that does those "I've fallen and can't get up" ads. He said he was calling to arrange the installation of a medical alert system that was ordered. I told him that the number he had called does not accept solicitations and to remove it from his list. He insisted that someone had ordered a system, suggesting that perhaps someone in my household has suffered a fall recently. I insisted that no one in my household had ordered anything, but he would not stop his pitch. I refused to give him any identifying information, told him again to remove the number from his list, and then I hung up. I dialed *69 and wrote down the number that had just called me, and it was local. I then called that number but got a message saying it was no longer in service, meaning that it was spoofed. 

I worry that this is not an isolated incident; I'm sure they are calling other elderly and/or disabled people, and they have probably succeeded in ripping some of these people off. I probably don't have enough data to file an official complaint, but what I can do is warn everyone I know about these sorts of scams and ask that you spread the word. Do not EVER give out your address, insurance information, credit card information, Social Security number, etc. to a company or person you do not know. Better to be safe than sorry. I am on the "Do Not Call" registry, but it doesn't seem to be making any difference.

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