Louisiana AG warns consumers of medical alert scam

By Bryan Cohen | Sep 4, 2013

BATON ROUGE, La. (Legal Newsline) - Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell's Consumer Protection Section warned Louisiana seniors Tuesday about a scam promising free medical alert devices.

Caldwell's office said it is receiving an increase in complaints about unsolicited telephone calls, which frequently trick consumers into believing the calls are coming from a real company. In actuality, the callers are con artists looking to obtain personal financial information from the call recipients.

In the free medical alert device scam, scammers call the victim and claim the recipient is eligible to receive a free medical alert device. The con artist then asks the victim to provide personal information and pay money to cover costs related to receiving the product. The scam artist tells the victim to send a payment, typically via Western Union, to receive the free device.

Sam Pleasant, the director of Caldwell's Public Protection Division, said consumers should be wary of unsolicited calls and should never send money for so-called free products. She said if a free offer requires personal information and money, it is often a scam.

Scammers can make their calls seem more legitimate using a practice known as spoofing. The con artists change the name and number appearing on caller ID to show a real company's name and landline phone number instead of the actual number the scammer is calling from.

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