CHARLESTON — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today urged senior citizens to be mindful of a Life Alert scam occurring in West Virginia and throughout the nation in which a caller tells a senior citizen they may receive a free Life Alert system if he or she provides a credit card number to cover the device’s shipping, handling, and activation fees.
“Scammers are targeting the elderly by trying to get the consumer’s credit card information for a ‘free’ Life Alert device,” Morrisey said. “An immediate red flag should go up as soon as someone says they will give you something for free but then want to tack on extra fees. Citizens should be wary of any deal that sounds too good to be true and should exercise caution when dealing with cold calls seeking personal information out of the blue.”
Morrisey said other warning signs that consumers should always be on the lookout for include:
Callers who are too aggressive and directly or indirectly threaten you into “purchasing” what they are selling.
Offers that say the price or service quoted is only good for a select amount of time.
The caller avoids answering questions directly and will not provide the offer details in writing.
Morrisey said a caller may try to alleviate concerns by saying he or she is endorsed by an organization. Morrisey said consumers should take the time to independently verify that information first before making a purchase.
“As with many scams, consumers should avoid cold calls that use high pressure sales tactics to get personal information,” Morrisey said. “If the consumer does want a medical life alert system, they can contact that company directly themselves and get the device on their own terms rather than through a cold call.”
If you are contacted from someone claiming you have a free Life Alert system and need payment for shipping, immediately hang up and contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Office at 1-800-368-8808.