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

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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

Comments

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.

Good idea!

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.

Please share when your friends give you the information.

Keep receiving robocalls from "Senior Alert Systems" - pressing #1 to speak to someone (latest person identified herself as Dominic Clark) but they are unable to give me any address or phone number for their company. They also block caller ID so there is no way to identify them. What a SCAM - hope FTC is able catch the crooks!!

Your all wasting your time. You will not find these people. The dialer is never located in this country. I would suggest offering to pay the operator that comes on the line to give up the actual location of the room they are working in.

They're still at it.

Look, we all know the NSA is spying on everyone. Can't the FTC just talk to the NSA for five minutes to put this stuff to a halt?

I just got my first robocall for a "Life Alert" system from 239-257-8645; guess they are trying Idaho since they're not able to operate in Florida anymore!! Unfortunately, I don't have the option of not answering my phone as it is used for our business. One way I have dealt with this, besides reporting them, is saving the phone numbers from these callers in my contacts under "DNC" (do not call); I am now at "DNC7" with 5 numbers in each; so far that is 35 different calls I have received in the last 6 months or so. Now when I get a call from a number I have saved under DNC, and I have had a few repeats, I just answer and then hang up right away; this may not get them to give up on me but it sure feels good cutting them off!!

This morning I received 2 calls for a free medical alert system. I know they are scam calls but how do these continue to operate is beyond me. I will be reporting the following numbers 949-256-6354 and 458-201-1746 to the FTC.

These scammers are scum bags. I just received a call from 307 541 8998 and previously from the following numbers: 662 262 3125, 480 636 2321, 620 504 5452, 406 980 2030, 850 237 4859, 480 636 2327, 203 244 7740, 562 461 6040 - as you can clearly see they just switch the number you see when calling in. The FTC can track them down if they want to and after all should be considering the tax money they receive. Please copy and paste these numbers and send them in - lets stop the idiots.

Let's get legislation in place to have phone companies provide a method to flag these calls so they can be reported and acted on in real time.

So much for the injunction. I got a call today, Nov 28th from 212-662-9720 and on 11.26 from 458=201-1670

The Do Not Call.Gov is the biggest waste of tax payer money there is. I update my entry every October and still receive 3 or 4 robo calls a week. The FTC has heard from me multiple times and does nothing. This whole problem is a result of the phone company failing to pursue technology that will give us phone users the option to cancel unwanted phone calls. You can't convince me that the phone company is unable to block these calls. Why should they? Their business success is determined by the number of phones that are used each day. When the FTC gets tough with the phone companies and demands that they provide a means and service that will eliminate unwanted phone calls, then the robo calls will stop. The PHONE TECHNICIANS are the people who can control this harassment of unwanted phone calls. No other utility company i.e. gas or electricity, asks to use my service to enhance their business. Why is the phone company allowed to use my phone service to enhance their business by allowing people to use my phone for advertising purposes?

Thank You!!!!

I keep getting these calls from all over the country. i started puttng the calls through to try and get off the list and now im still recieving calls but they dont even give me the option anymore! what is the point of a sales call if you dont give them a chance to connect the call???

I've been working very hard to unmasking the name and physical address or the person(s) making the life alert calls. When I have that information I plan to share it.

Me too. I keep getting these calls. They are not doing a damn thing about these harassing losers. They just want to make people angry. When are they ever going to stop this?

Hi. I am from Orange CA. And the New York Medical Alert Center keeps on calling us without our permission. We are also on the "Do Not Call List". But the DNC list does not seem to work anymore. The FCC needs to stop these and investigate these annoying unwanted calls. I also get sales callers like Home Improvement Breast Cancer etc. These calls are ruining our lives. They just won't stop calling innocent people. We have tried so many times to tell them to stop calling. But they still continue to call back. This needs to be stopped when we have a new President. Seriously!!!!!!!!!

Scammers are scammers. They do not follow the Do Not Call List. They spoof numbers - they have ways of making phone calls look like they are coming from legitimate phone numbers.

Law enforcement can do something if someone is scammed. Do report if you're scammed.

Do report unwanted calls to the FCC. They can't do anything unless it's reported. Sadly, investigations take time. It is frustrating.

If you catch someone trying to scam you, report it to your local TV consumer advocate or one in the nearest market. Surprisingly, these folks seem to shed light on the issue and get the word out for others to be cautious and skeptical.

Con artists have been around for since human beings came into existence. Remembering "if it's too good to be true, it probably is" may be a smart thing.

I just now got this call again. Caller ID read "Atlanta GA", phone number 404-902-5256. These are the same "free medical alert system" scammers still going strong. Seems like the slapdown did nothing to discourage them.

Why can't all of them be shut down including the illegal calls regarding reducing your credit card interest rates and the free vacations. Sick of the calls.

Got another call today, 2/13. FTC apparently isn't doing/can't do its job.

When I asked Richard, a Medical Alert Scammer who called me from 212-662-5375 today not to call me any more, he said he was going to put me on a list that will give 100 calls an hour. I'd call thats scam terrorism. This criminals ought to be behind bars which is the only thing that will stop them.

The US needs legislation that requires telecommunications companies and credit card companies to apply technology to stop or at least identify these criminals for prosecution. They are currently complicit in these crimes.

Thank you for sharing your experiences. Unfortunately, we cannot address complaints if they are submitted through the blog comments. Please report your experience at ftc.gov/complaint.

I'd appreciate anything the FTC could do to stop these calls. But realistically, exactly what, if anything can the FTC do with complaints about calls when we only have a spoof telephone number, a fake company name, and no physical address. I get 3 or 4 of these "medical alert" and "lower your interest rate" calls per day and they refuse to provide their real company name or address. Ms Small, what can you do with that?

Please report your experience at ftc.gov/complaint. Your complaints, added to the complaints of other people nationwide, help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies detect patterns of abuse. In 2014, The FTC received 2.5 million complaints (excluding do-not-call complaints);  60% fraud
complaints; 13% identity theft complaints; and 27% other types of complaints.

How can you report a number when they spoof the number they are calling from? I get calls for a medical alert system, lower my credit card rates and install an alarm system several times a week. The same old press number 1 to listen and then a message that I am number ?? in the que.If I don't have the right call back number how can I report them??????

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