Ariz. AG warns residents about medical alert scams

By Bryan Cohen | Aug 6, 2013

PHOENIX (Legal Newsline) -- Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne last week warned consumers, particularly senior citizens, about possible medical alert scams.

As part of one scam, seniors are offered free medical alert systems and scared into disclosing their private information.

The scam artists may request information such as bank account numbers, bank account information and Medicare card numbers. The scammers then use the personally identifying information to commit identity theft or take money from bank accounts.

"While medical alert systems do save lives, this scam does nothing more than harm unsuspecting consumers, especially seniors," Horne said Thursday. "It is a constant battle to stay one step ahead of these schemes, especially when scam artists often operate outside the country, out of reach of law enforcement.

"Consumer education is the best defense we have against these types of scams."

In some instances, consumers receive a recorded message stating a family member ordered a medical alert system but more information is needed before the product is shipped.

In other instances, consumers receive a phone message saying the company wants to deliver the product but must confirm an address.

Horne said Arizona consumers are not the only target of the scam, as attorneys general from throughout the country are reporting similar scams in their states.

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