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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor
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For Immediate Release
Medical Alert Scam Targeting Seniors
July 15, 2013 - A medical alert scam that has targeted senior citizens in Middle Tennessee has apparently started spreading to East Tennessee. The scam, which was first reported in Middle Tennessee in May, uses recorded messages to offer personal emergency response services. After listening to the prerecorded call a person will try to make arrangements for a "medical delivery." The caller will imply that somebody, a doctor or maybe their child, signed them up for the alert system. The caller will then try to trick the citizen into accepting the service. The caller will then ask for personal information including credit card or bank information. The telephone number of the scammer that appears on caller ID is a number that has been disconnected.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) reports they have had complaints from citizens in several states including Tennessee, New York, Texas, Michigan, Wisconsin and Kentucky.

The BBB has the following tips for senior citizens:

  • Ask for the name of the person you are speaking with, the name of their business, the address of their business, and their call back number. Inform them you will be calling to get the listed number for the company and call it to verify the information they have provided. Also, tell them you will be checking them out with the BBB.
  • Never do business with someone who just walks up to your door or calls you. If you want to do business with them, ask all of the questions above and tell them you will get back with them after you have checked them out.
  • Never make quick decisions to order or schedule services, take your time and tell them you will get back with them.
  • Never provide or even confirm personal information to someone you don't know or haven't checked out first.
  • Call and report calls from businesses if you are listed on the Federal Trade Commission's "Do Not Call Registry" at www.donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222. You can register for the "Do Not Call Registry" by calling the same number.
  • For Immediate Release
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