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Seniors Get A Warning On Medical Alert Scam

Medical Alert Systems in the Age of Technology

medical alert1 Medical Alert Systems in the Age of Technology Why not tug at the heartstrings a little more and claim that someone cares so much about them that a loved one or medical professional even signed them up for this "free service"? Then, of course, smack someone on a fixed income with a big bill, if they fall for the phony pitch. The trick is that if seniors do agree to the system in some cases it can cost $35 a month or more to operate. The scam could also be a way for con artists to obtain bank or credit card information or even a Social Security number to use later in ID theft. Or a way for someone to pressure seniors into paying for other equipment or services. Authorities said in some cases, after consumers press a button to accept the offer, they quickly receive another call asking for personal information, including credit card numbers.
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Med Alert Response, Inc.

Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 Consumer alert: Medical alert scam PITTSBURGH A phone call offering free medical alert bracelets may be too good to be true. Bill Trethewey received robo-calls from a caller claiming to be from a medical alert company 3-4 times a day for more than two months. "Oh, it's awful", said the Mount Lebanon resident. The phone recording said a relative had already paid for a medical alert system for him and his wife.
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BBB Warns Seniors of Deceptive Telemarketing Calls Offering Free Medical Alert Devices

Smartphones and cell phones can be important for critical situations in terms of contacting medical professionals and ensuring that the patient will be attended to and treated by a medical emergency professional; but these phones cant give the critical care information that a medical identification bracelet or a fully integrated system provides. With many of these alert bracelets and tags, particularly medical alert devices designed for the elderly who live on their own, theres a button on the bracelet that, when pushed, signals to a central base. That dispatch can alert medical emergency professionals that the person needs assistance. Medical Alert Devices There are a number of populations who would benefit from wearing some kind of medical alert device, but the elderly and chronically ill are the best candidates. With the desire to live on their own, these devices give senior citizens the opportunity to live on their own with confidence and peace of mind that help is just the push of a button away if they need it. A medical alert protocol also lets families feel some sense of relief that their loved ones will be quickly reached and cared for in an emergency situation such as in the case a fall or some kind of complication from an already present illness. Another population who may benefit from some type of medical alert identification system is someone with an illness like diabetes that requires medications and may have a variety of complex triggers, complications and risks of not receiving timely and properly delivered treatment. If a diabetic suffers from an episode of low blood sugar and is in danger of losing consciousness, they may use the bracelet to contact medical professionals who will automatically understand the patients condition and respond rapidly and appropriately.
Source - Medical Alert Systems in the Age of Technology

'Free' Medical Alert Device Offers Harm, Not Help

Gonzalez is the owner of Rio Valley TransportMed Alert, while Lozano is the owner of Rio Plex Billing. On Wednesday, the two went before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos, who set their bonds at $50,000 unsecured, meaning they were released on their signature but if they fail to appear at future court dates they will have to pay the bond amount. Federal and state authorities arrested the two Oct. 17, two days after the indictment was handed down, court records show.
Source: Owners of Med Alert and Rio Plex Billing accused of Medicare fraud

Consumer alert: Medical alert scam

Has someone tried to contact you about free medical alert devices? Do you have tips other readers could use to avoid these types of scams? Speak out on our Scams & Fraud message board . 1. Hang up on unsolicited offers: Don't even ask for sales information from cold callers: You could be targeted for "pay us or else" intimidation later on, says DeCastro. 2. Flee from claims that the device is free: A scammer might assert that that a product won't cost you because you have insurance.
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scam alert While pushy sales tactics arent themselves illegal, we encourage seniors and their caretakers alike to ask questions and to look for red flags associated with a scam. Additionally, BBB is warning consumers not to provide sensitive personal or financial information to cold-calling companies. Notes Weiss One never knows what ethically-challenged companies or employees will do with sensitive customer information, but it could easily lead to identity theft and financial loss. BBB advised consumers to watch for these red flags: Free Offers Be wary of free offers that require you to pay a handling charge or other fees. In the case of medical alert systems, ask if there are additional monthly charges. If the telemarketer says a friend or family member bought the unit, ask for the name of the person and verify with them before agreeing to anything. Scare Tactics Being trapped in your own home with no way to call for help can be a scary situation for anyone, but for many seniors, it can be a realistic scenario. Dont fall for scare tactics.
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Owners of Med Alert and Rio Plex Billing accused of Medicare fraud

X Types of Complaints Handled by BBB BBB handles the following types of complaints between businesses and their customers so long as they are not, or have not been, litigated: Advertising or Sales Problems with Products or Services Delivery Guarantee or Warranty We do not handle workplace disputes, discrimination claims or claims about the quality of health or legal services. X What is BBB Advertising Review? BBB promotes truth in advertising by contacting advertisers whose claims conflict with the BBB Code of Advertising . These claims come to our attention from our internal review of advertising, consumer complaints and competitor challenges. BBB asks advertisers to prove their claims, change ads to make offers more clear to consumers, and remove misleading or deceptive statements. What government actions does BBB report on? BBB reports on known significant government actions involving business' marketplace conduct.
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