Ohio Officials Warn Of Medic Alert Phone Scam


Ruth Conone considers herself pretty savvy.

"I have a PhD in Adult Education.  I've done a lot of work in the consumer fraud area,” said Conone.

She knew what was up when she received an unsolicited phone call.

The caller wanted to arrange a time to install a free personal emergency response system that she could use to alert authorities if she becomes sick or falls.

"I responded ‘I don't want it.’  I said 'I don't know where it's coming from, I don't want it.' And then he said, 'but it's all free, it won't cost you anything.' And I said 'free isn't usually a good thing because something funny is going on and then I hung up,” said Conone.

The AARP, Better Business Bureau, and the Federal Trade Commission say offers like these are likely scams; or high pressure sales pitches to get your credit card info for monitoring fees or other expenses.  

LifeAlert is one of the most popular medic alert companies.

It posts a warning on its website that reads: Scammers are trying to mislead and defraud consumers by using our trademarked name so they can get your address, credit card number, and bank information to charge you.

Ruth says the scammer didn't give up. He even had the nerve to call her back.

"Very engaging, very non-threatening, very, 'oh this is a wonderful service,” she said.

And she had the nerve to hang up again.

"I would say I don't really care to have anything free, because free is always some kind of shenanigan!"