The state Department of Consumer Affairs advises you to beware of suspicious calls from people who claim to be with companies that provide medical alert systems for the elderly and disabled.
“You get an automated telephone call promising you a free medical alert device,” says SCDCA spokeswoman Juliana Harris, “and it will prompt you to press 1 to speak to a representative so that you can verify the shipping address, is what it says. But we've heard from consumers that the goal of the scam is to get payment information.”
Harris reminds us never to give out personal or financial information to someone we don't know, and remember that government officials – including Medicare – will not call and ask for such information.
As for those automated phone calls, Harris points out, “A lot of times, pressing a button won't really do anything except alert them to the fact that there is another person on the end of the line. So they'll continue to call you. So just hang up.”
Harris says if a “live” person does come on the line, before you sign up for anything, and be sure you're aware of the product's features, any initial and recurring costs, and the cancellation policy.
She says it's best to ask to be sent written product information.
You can also contact the Department of Consumer Affairs by calling 1-800-922-1594 or checking online at www.consumer.sc.gov to see if any complaints have been filed against the company.