Medical Alert call prompts scam notice

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Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 12:00 am

One company claiming to offer an emergency medical alert system might not be the best one to call for help.

Drucilla Coan of Council Bluffs said she received a call recently from someone who identified himself as an employee of Medic Alert, saying, “Yourself or someone else in your home has fallen and ordered a Medic Alert system,'' she said. “Then they said, 'If you agree, press one. If you do not agree, press two,' so I pressed two. They said it was all taken care of all paid for.”

It sounded like an automated call, she said.

Tuesday, Coan received a call from someone named “John” at Medic Alert who said someone had ordered the system for her and asked what time they could install it. She told him nobody had ordered it for her.

“I said, 'I don't want that,' and hung up,” she said.

Coan did not give the caller any personal information but was concerned about others who might receive a call, she said.

Coan's phone displayed the number 515-325-0487, which traces back to Blairsburg in north-central Iowa.

Sgt. Chad Meyers of the Council Bluffs Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division said the department had not received any complaints about a medical alert company.

However, the Better Business Bureau has received numerous calls in recent weeks from consumers saying that someone had called to inform them that a medical alert device, similar to Life Alert, had been purchased for them and would be delivered at no charge, a press release on the agency's website said.

“These kinds of calls are very suspicious due to the secretive nature and lack of full disclosure to their real purpose,” said BBB President and CEO Jim Hegarty. “Remember to never give out any of your personal information over the phone, regardless of what they say it's for.”

Consumers who receive these calls regarding a medical alert system can report the call to the BBB at 800-649-6814, BBB's toll free Senior Line at 877-637-3334 or to the Nebraska or Iowa Attorney General Office.

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