Bryan Cohen Jul. 31, 2013, 5:57pm

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen and Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner William Rubenstein warned Connecticut residents Tuesday about scammers promising free medical alert devices.

In the past few months, both offices received multiple consumer complaints about callers pretending to be representatives for medical device companies. The callers offer a medical alert system at no cost and then ask for money and personal information for the purportedly free equipment. Older adults appear to be the prime target of the scammers.

Rubenstein said the scammers are using illegal spoofing of numbers and robo-calling as part of the scams. Spoofing occurs when scammers imitate a legitimate business or caller. The practice is illegal if the intent is to defraud, wrongfully obtain anything of value or cause harm.

He said consumers must be cautious and should inform older family members that such scams are going on. Connecticut residents interested in a medical alert system offer or other offers can independently verify the legitimacy of the caller and offer using websites, telephone numbers and other reliable sources.

"Do not give out your personal information in unsolicited phone calls," Jepsen said. "If you receive such a call, the best strategy is to hang up the phone."

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