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

888-382-1222 National Do NOT Call phone number

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

The national do-not-call list does not work.

Actually, DON'T hang up. Don't bother hitting "5" or "9" to remove yourself from the list -- you've already indicated you don't want calls by being on the Do Not Call list which they are illegally violating, hitting "9" just made my mom get MORE calls by indicating she responded. While making sure you don't give them any info, hit "1" and put the phone down, or pretend you're getting your credit card, or engage them to point out the operation they are working at is illegal (my mom did this and one or two actually thought the firm was legit! But unfortunately didn't give info to track them down and sue them.) They waste my time, I waste theirs. If like 1 out of 1000 did this, they would not have enough operators to make this even possibly profitable and would have to stop.

Hwertz, AGREED! I've employed your tactic for years. It's the surest way to get off the list, and destroy the economics of these scam businesses. Keep them on the phone as long as possible. There is a short term cost in your time, but there is a long term gain for EVERYONE. My own method is to act slightly confused, but interested, stretching the conversation until they finally hang up on me. Works every time. Occupying them, and keeping them from dialing others.

Totally agree with talking to someone! Every minute you can tie up an "operator" costs them money. My favorite is telling them I have mild "Old timers" and then going to get a pencil after warning him that I move pretty slowly and it might be a minute or two. When I finally come back (they often are still patiently waiting), I ask "Was I talking to you about something? Did I call you? What for?".

I am on this list and constantly get calls, that I should not be receiving. If the number does not have an identifying company name, personal name that I recognize, etc. I don't answer. Just got scammed by Medical Alarm Systems and other names. FTC and FL Attorney General's Office have taken legal measures to stop them. Do not call: waste of time!

My numner has been put in the registry but I didnt put it there.As well as my iwn IDentity Theft since 2009?My lifes a mess at 55.No matter Im a mess.No one will help me.

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

No. The telemarketers and internet fraud grifters have learned that the do not call list is just another scam- this time designed to make it look like the Government is your friend and justify any number of make-work "jobs". I got through to their bureaucracy one time and turned in a telemarketer. A got a notice that they appreciated my call and some day might decide to do something about it. They never did and they never will

The Do Not Call list only works with legitimate businesses. Scammers - those using bogus numbers (Google "caller ID spoofing") - are not deterred because their calls cannot be traced back to them. As of two years ago, the FTC had imposed $117 million in finds for violators ... from legitimate businesses. And the 'bureaucracy' you complain about isn't that difficult: if you're on the Do Not Call list you should be able to file a complaint online in less than 60 seconds. [My free advice: be polite and say "No, thank you" to the scumbag who's trying to con you, because he certainly knows who you are & where you live, and you don't know what kind of person you're dealing with.]

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.

I really like getting the ones with a prepaid envelope .. I just put all the papers that they sent me in the prepaid envelope .... At least that helps the USPS in business..

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

I've been getting these from Oklahoma and Indiana the last few weeks. I don't actually answer the phone as I don't recognize the telephone number. I do a google search on the number and "life alert scam" comes up.

Phone number spoofing is sadly common. I actually got one of these calls from my phone number to my phone number. This may be a different group who is using this scam.

Scammers use people's fears of falling and being independent against them.

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..

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