To robocall scammers who lied about free medical alert devices: We’ve got your number

Phone imageThe FTC warned people last summer about illegal prerecorded sales calls from scammers pitching safety alert systems for older adults. And now, the FTC and the Florida Attorney General have acted to temporarily halt and freeze the assets of an Orlando-based operation that not only used illegal robocalls to pitch so-called “free” medical alert devices to older consumers, but also lied about the cost and quality. The FTC and the Florida AG are working to permanently ban the operation from illegally pitching their products and to get refunds for victims.

The scammers lied when they said the devices had been bought for consumers by a relative or friend. Really? Don’t you think your friends and relatives would tell you if they bought you a gift, especially if you have to pay an activation and monthly monitoring fee? I know mine would. The scammers continued their lies when they told people they wouldn’t be charged anything before the devices were activated. In fact, the scammers started charging people who agreed to receive the system immediately, regardless of whether the system had been activated or not. Makes me so mad I could spit nails. A lot of the victims were elderly, live alone, and have limited or fixed incomes.

So here’s a free and valuable message: When you get an illegal robocall, hang up the phone. Don't press “1” to speak to a live operator. And don't press any other number to get off the list. It will probably only lead to more robocalls. Report your experience to the FTC online at ftc.gov or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.

If you’re interested in buying a medical alert device for yourself, a family member or a friend, the FTC has information on that, too. Check out Personal Emergency Response Systems: Health Information for Older People.

Tagged with: robocall, scam, telemarketing
Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Comments

I use a company call Nurse Alert and not only do I get help but talk with RN nurse who can really help me no other company can do that for me thank you

888-382-1222 National Do NOT Call phone number

Thanks! You can also register online at https://donotcall.gov/

I have reported this using The Do Not Call List. Isn't that good enough?

they also do this with the mail - they say they are with medicare and want you to verify your name and address. howewever the envelope is in fact made out to you.

Congratulations on a complex job well done. I had filed a complaint. While I never purchased the device, my husband and I were disturbed by i'm guessing a hundred calls. These calls disturb elderly people who may need to rest or otherwise have challenges getting to a persistently ringing phone. I would have apaid more than thirty some dollars to make these stop. Thanks so very much. Heather

I live in Columbia, Mo. and received this robocall at 3 p.m. today (Monday, January 13). Apparently the federal court injunction is not being followed

We received these calls about 3 times weekly for months last fall. I always screen calls with my answering machine and never pick up for these. Our number has always been on the "Do Not Call" list; scammers ignore that of course. But the robocall did not leave enough info for me to fill out the "Do Not Call" complaint form.

Every time I open a Bank Account I get Frauded! While the Banks reimburse the Money, at Midnight it gets debited again! I get calls where the calller knows my Social Security number! Somebody is Obviously Monitoring my activities!

I've been receiving the same pitch in Orlando this week (3 times so far), but with a live person stumbling through his spiel. I've reported it online.

Caller ID = New York 212-660-5351. Stupid me. I believed the calls were over because of the law suit and unblocked all the numbers I had associated with these scammers. NOT! Got a call today. Lot of good the suit did.

Keep getting calls from 202-241-2807 in Florida. It started as a medical lawsuit then turned to some guy in India saying he loved me? STOP THE SPAM and prosecute these people.

Need to get rid of a Cleveland Ohio place too. Number of scam is 216-278-0121.

The robocaller wouldn't *respond* when asked a question--not a smart way to represent an emergency *response* service!

Still getting the exact same calls. How is that possible if the FTC has 'frozen' their assets?

Medical Alert scam calls are driving us crazy.Last night @ 8:30 p.m. 2/14/14 from the same numbers i have reported to the FTC and to the complaint "do not call" registry many many times. It does no good since the calls keep coming in sometimes two to three times a day. If the courts have froze the assets of this company why are they still calling. The FTC and the Attorney Generals office should give those offended the company name address and the owners names and address so we all can file a class action law suit. Some of us may want to file individual law suits also. Last i heard there was a $ 5,ooo.oo fine for violating the do not call registry list. Get on the FTC and the Attorney General evidently they are not doing their job.

has anyone thought that maybe another scam company has started taking over these calls? scams get recycled all the time. just because the ftc is doing something about it with one company, someone else may pick up where they left off.

In many cases, the FTC has been able to ban permanently repeat offenders from the telemarketing industry. Here's an example of such action. That’s why it's important to report illegal robocalls and unwanted telemarketing sales calls to the FTC at www.ftc.gov/complaint, to help enforce the rules.

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I received a computer ad call at 12:41 AM CST from 212-660-5351. This is Paetec Communications, NY. I want these computer generated calls stopped. or at least the name and number of the ceo of this caller company.

This phone number called me at 2:58a.m. on the morning of 04-08-2014 I was told I won a free medical alert and I think a $1000.00 grocery gift certificate, I just hung up.

I used to receive two or three robocalls (mostly 'credit card interest lowering' offerings) per week. In the past few weeks, I've been receiving two or three per day, including 'you won a vacation', and other obvious scams. I've just now begun to think about changing my phone number, but I fear robocalls would only begin again, and the number of calls would again increase exponentially just as they have now.

Mine is a rather extreme situation. I suffer with a social anxiety condition so severe that to hear a knock on my door, or the phone ringing is unbelievably stressful. I actually shut off the ringer on my phone and I rely on the answering machine to notify me of incoming calls.

These robocalls have added a new dimension of anxiety to my life - the quality of which is already poor.

Check to see if you have call blocking on your phone line or can add it through the phone company. It can help stop some of the calls coming in from the same phone number.

I got several of the free medical alert calls too. Kicker is I am a paramedic on the life squad, so when 911 is called in my area, I am the one who responds! Don't think I need that device just yet, and I know none of my family or friends" bought" me the device. They all know what I do for a living

I like to lead them on they when they ask for my credit card number I tell them I have to find it in my wife's purse. Then I put them on speaker phone and lay it in from of my computer which is playins 50s rock and roll.

They're at it again. I just got a call claiming that I had been "referred" for a "free" alert system. The illegal robocall gave no info about the company, but the rep claimed they were "Rapid Response Medical Systems," with a Caller ID number in Albany, NY.

Just received a call from " Senior Alert Systems" from 714-607-6436". It started as a recorded message but I hung in there until a live person came on the line. He would not give me any of his company information like address or main phone number unless I placed an order. Lol. What a crock of poop. Ok, FTC....you need to shut these people down!

We have a lot of scammers now, so beware to the people like that.

What a laugh. I have reported these calls more than once and they still come in once a week.

July 12, 2014 - am in Charlottesville, VA and just got a Medical Alert robocall from 212 662 4578 "Ortiz, Roberto" name, and find online that many others are getting calls from same number. Recorded voice states that we are about to receive a free medical alert device provided to us and we just need to provide info for delivery. Looks like same old scam subject of January FTC and Florida action. - has FTC block been lifted? These could deceive people. Have just registered with Do Not Call and hope not to hear from these people again.

Just got a call 212-662-5375 New York. Medical Alert robocalls are still very active. This is our 3rd call in 2 months from different numbers. Being sued and having assets frozen hasn't slowed them down at all.

Several calls from the 212 phone number. Recorded message offering free medical alert. $1,000 to purchase groceries & money for prescriptions.

I continue to receive harassing phone calls from companies offering free medical alert system or credit services and they are using caller id spoofing as they are displaying a phone number that is not theirs. Sometimes its one digit off from mine…I thought spoofing became illegal in 2007.
I am on the do not register and have even reported this to my local telecom provider (Verizon) and the FTC online at ftc.gov and called 1-877-FTC-HELP…no help. I can’t believe in this day of technology we are unable to track these scammers. It’s not wonder the Chinese are stealing the designs for America's advanced weapons systems and laughing all the way to the bank.

Still getting calls number changes. Return calls all say number not working. Caller ID always says Urgent

Upon talking with my states' Attorney General, these calls and many others are probably being initiated from overseas, which exempts them from following the DO NOT CALL list. It figures that our Senators/Representatives can't figure out how to write an effective law.

I get these calls at least twice a day. I always let the answering machine get them, but still very annoying. I registered a complaint today, but doubt it will do any good.

I have had several call......and have asked that they remove me from their call list

Got a call about an hour ago. Name of "Roberto Ortiz". Number: 212 662 4579. They call from other numbers too. I have complained and complained. FTC and Do Not Call Registry are presently not able to do much, it would seem.

I also get numerous calls but now numbers of real people who live in my area show up on the caller ID. I also received a call from my own phone number with my full name on the caller ID. Something needs to be done about these intrusions.

I received 2 calls from today so far. Maybe more. I dont answer all calls. I hang up on the message, but it does no good. They just call back again. I dont have caller ID. I am on "lifeline" phone service because of my income. I get robo calls about lowering my interest rates and for carpet cleaning and home repairs. I AM ON THE DO NOT CALL LIST. What good does it do.
We hear how phones of many American citizens are being "tapped" by the government. WHY DONT THEY STOP THE SCAMMERS.
ANY robo call is a scam. Its illegal. CATCH the scammers and fine them heavily. Make so their crime DOESNT pay.

I just kept them on the phone for 32 minutes. Had the lady hook line and sinker. I wanted the product I told them but I dont have a credit card. Wanted to send a money order. Yet they don't want to provide any company information. They say the business has been operated for over 30 years yet they wont give me address or phone number until they get a credit card number. They spent 15 minutes fighting tooth and nail even wanting me to buy a debit card LOL. I'm so sick of the calls that I'm going to keep them on the phone while I sit here playing my keno online. Give fake name and address and just keep saying Money Order only....what is the company information. Round in circles. Someone is paying them to make these calls. I will keep em all busy from now on.

Very good Cindy,I told them I didn't need one, my live in girl friend who is 84 years old looks after me, and she will not let me have my credit card so I can give them the number..

DONT CALL YOUR LOCAL PHONE COMPANY IF YOURE GETTING THESE CALLS!!!!! THEY CANNOT BLOCK THEM OR DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT!!!!158

A robocall doesn't give one much expectation of personal service, does it?

I get these calls constantly, 'don't hang up...etc. and they mention AARP as if it has their endorsement. I find it very irritating. But, I am also personally insulted because even though I am 66.5 yrs of age, I run 60 - 70 miles per month. I don't think I need a medical alert system at this stage in life. One time I pressed 1 and told the caller I was more concerned about when I was out running long distance, the possibility of falling down, and it wouldn't work at that distance. Oh, that's ok, we can send you one with GPS. Ok...ha, of course I said no thanks and hung up. I don't press any number anymore.

All these numbers that the calls are coming from are different,and from different areas. I think that the calls are coming from theives who are callingon disposable phones, and that is why it is so hardto track them down and prosecute. It is almost impossible to stop such calls. What I have done is this. The greeting on my answering machine says:
"because of scammers, you must start to leave a message after the beep to be answered". I have advised all my friends and family to do this. Most,
but not all robo calls will disconnect when the answering machine comes on and starts to deliver the greeting.It is a sad state of affairs, that in this age with the advent of cell phones, theives and telemarketers are using this medium to harass
and decieve people, and getting away with it.

I receive several calls a week from this telemarketer, but from multiple numbers usually in NY State (e.g., 716-519-6819/6821). Their pitch is a recording that this is not a sales call, but they have referenced Medicare, AARP, and now the ACA to get your attention to press 1, after which another recording tells you how long "Senior Alert Systems" has been in business and is a reputable firm. Finally, a live person comes on the line who want to send you something for free. I have told three different callers to remove my number, but the calls keep coming, usually around dinner time. I wish you could put these scam artists out of business.

These crooks call me constantly...every single day. I'm on the National Do Not call Registry & I've complained to the FTC, but the calls continue. Often the calls waker me up. These crooks need to be arrested.

My husband goes around and around, repeating to them what they said: FREE, all you need is my address". It's FREE you said. NO, you will not get my cc # because it's FREE!!" Our congress should be able to do something since we pay big bucks for them to do something!

A new number, a new pitch? 714-233-2134. -- My doctor referred them to me. Free "alert system." $3000 in grocery vouchers. -- Same bull at the fertilizer plant.

I love messing with these people. I've had one on the phone for 16 minutes and counting. I'm now being transferred to the "verification department" so they can tell me the credit card number I gave them is invalid. Hee hee. Today I decided to do an Indian accent and told them my name was "Akanksha". LOL

Got one this morning from "numbers"714 607 6425.
Among things offered was free alert, grocery vouchers and free shipping. The recording quoted AARP and said my Dr ordered it! I had relatives scammed over the years from those taking advantage of vulnerable seniors. Can't something be done.

Use selective call forwarding (*63) to forward these idiots back to another robo call number or, better yet, the FTC - 1-877-382-4357.

I get these calls several times a week, usually identified as coming from a number beginning with 212-662-XXXX... I block the number, nut then they call again from a slightly different number.

As others have mentioned, the root of this epidemic of spam calls is caller ID spoofing. With this ability to hide their identity, it seems that reporting them to the FTC is rather pointless, as you're basically simply saying that an unidentified company called you. I still report these calls anyway, just to hopefully draw the FTC's attention to this problem so that perhaps they'll step up attempts to find these scumbags.

But again, solve the problem of caller ID spoofing (which is already illegal)... otherwise these scammers will continue to exploit this GAPING hole in the effectiveness of the do not call list, since if they are not easily identifiable by those they are attempting to victimize, the fear of being reported is no longer a deterrent.

Got a call selling the medical alert program this afternoon. Obviously all is not well in medi-alert-land.

Telephone companies are complicit in these scams because they have not applied technology to prevent scammers and telemarketers violating don't call rules from spoofing numbers-- they profit from all these calls. We need legislation to require telephone companies to apply technology prevent spoofing.

Likewise, credit card companies are complicit with scammers because they continue to process charges from known scammers such as Medical Alert Systems' against consumers' accounts. Credit card companies know who the big scammers such as Medical Alert Systems and Card Service (lower your interest rate scam) are from the number of complaints and chargebacks they have to perform as a result of them. Legislative action is needed to make credit card companies stop helping scammers by processing charges from them to consumers accounts. It can sometimes take months to get a scammers charge removed from your account that the credit card company should have never processed in the first place.

A previous poster was correct that the FTC can't do much do to the spoofing. Since tougher consumer protection laws are needed to stop this, contact your legislators and insist that they sponsor or support legislation to require telephone companies to apply technology to stop spoofing and credit card companies to stop processing charges from known scammers.

Contrary to the FTC headline, the FTC clearly does not have the number on this fraud. If the FTC presently believes that the agency lacks the legal tools to stop this abuse, the FTC itself should feel duty bound to seek new legislation.

I block their calls but when they get through, I just tell them why do I need to pay for your crappy device when I have my cell phone on me and a speed dial emergency number. When is the FTC going to do something and when are all these scammers going to give up, especially Card Member Services (or what ever they call themselves today). God, if the NSA can spy on every phone call why don't they stop them.

Try forwarding the call to the NY State Attorney General's office: 1 800 771 7755.

They call 3 times a day. I told them not to call. They hung up on me. They called again. I asked them not to call. Another fellow said he would take me off their list. They still called. Several times a day. I told them I'm on the DoNotCall registry and have reported them. They still call.

Now I've decided that I'm buying a whistle and when I press 1 and a human gets on the line, I'm going to tell them not to call and then blow loudly in their ear. Maybe their employees will complain about this to management and they will finally take us off their list. I can't see any other way. Anyone else have any ideas?

I'm buying a whistle and after introducing myself I'm going to blow it in their ear. Maybe that'll stop them.

I am so glad to see this site and see the problems others are also having. Getting sometimes three calls a day, at all hours, makes me crazy---from FL, NY and CA----glad to know that it's pretty worthless to try and do anything besides HANG UP or be aware NOT to answer them. Unfortunately, we DO get business related calls from these same states that are legitimate so it's sometimes hard to tell which to answer and which to ignore. Extremely frustrating, to say the least. I was listening to get to the end where supposedly you can opt out, which never, ever works.

After taking so many solicitation calls, my phone reports, "Call reject list cannot exceed 100 entries. Please delete some." But where can I offload these Robo Medical Alert scam numbers to do some good?

You can forward the suspicious emails to spam@uce.gov . And file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov/complaint. Thanks.

I get 2-3 medical alert system robocalls daily. The telephone companies should be required by law to use technology to prevent spoofing fake numbers so these crooks can be shut down. Telephone companies would rather profit from the business these robocall crooks give them. Credit card companies facilitate these crooks' operations by allowing them to continue to process credit card transactions despite fraud and complaints. Credit card companies know who these crooks are but profit by collecting a fee from the crooks for each transaction. The credit card companies could shut them down easily by refusing to process their transactions.

Telephone companies and credit card companies are the accomplices of these robocall crooks. Legislation is needed to hold them accountable.

I have computer friends in low places. I will set them to the task of finding the physical locations of the scum calling my elderly relative. Upon locating them I shall find much delight in the process of expressing my irritation with their activities. Everyone wanted a deregulated telecommunication system. Now we have it.

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