Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – May 10, 2013 – A new phone scam is making its rounds and targeting local senior citizens and senior caregivers. BBB has received reports of consumers being contacted by aggressive telemarketing calls claiming to be from Philips Lifeline or simply, “Medical Alert.”
These callers allege to be promoting a personal emergency response service. They claim to offer free monitoring as part of a government program or tell consumers that the service was already paid for. Reportedly, callers use high-pressure sales tactics, refuse to mail out information and transfer calls once asked questions about the service. When pressed further, callers often hang-up altogether.
Your BBB is warning seniors and senior caregivers to be cautious of these telemarketers’ sales tactics. According to Philips Lifeline, “their company does not engage in telemarketing of this kind, nor do its partners or distributors. The unauthorized telemarketers making these claims do not represent Philips Lifeline.”
If you or anyone you know receives a call similar to this, BBB offers the following tips on how to handle the situation:
- Refuse to answer the phone for unrecognized phone numbers and let the call go to voicemail or your answering machine.
- Be suspicious if the caller is secretive in nature and refuses to disclose the company’s name, location or product information. Simply, hang up the phone.
- Never provide credit card or financial account details and personal information over the phone without first being able to verify the caller’s true identity.
- Don’t give into high pressure sales tactics. Always take your time when making a decision. Legitimate companies won’t pressure you to make a snap decision.
- File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Communications Commission.
Keep in mind that these scammers can be aggressive in nature and sound very convincing. They may also call several times, at various hours of the day, hoping to catch someone unaware. For more helpful tips and information on scams, visit www.bbb.org.
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