Help Stop Telemarketing Scams on Medical Alert Services

Help Stop Telemarketing Scams on Medical Alert Services

We recently received an alert from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding the  telemarketing of medical alert services. Marketers making unsolicited phone calls are attempting to pressure elderly consumers into buying medical alert services. The services supposedly allow consumers to receive help during emergencies by pushing a button on a pendant.

Although many consumers reporting this scam have refused te buy the services, they continue to receive numerous letters in the mail demanding payment for the unwanted services. Typically, the letters contain phony invoices and threaten consumers with legal action if they do not immediately pay the false charges. Consumers have also received abusive follow-up phone calls from marketers and have even received packages in the mail containing unordered medical alert pendants.

If you hear of or receive any such calls, please report them to our California Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) project at 1-855-613-7080. We will forward on all reports to the Federal Trade Commission, which is the federal governmenfs consumer protection agency that brings federal court law enforcement actions to stop fraud and obtain refunds for consumers.

Karen Fletcher
Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.

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