Monday, July 01, 2013
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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