State warns elderly, disabled people about automated phone scam

The Commission on Aging and Disability are warning residents about recent scams targeting seniors.

The scam involves a recorded phone call promising free or low cost personal emergency or medical alert systems.

“The purpose of these calls is to possibly gain access to credit card or other sensitive information” said Jim Shulman, Executive Director of the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability.

He continued, “This information should never be given out over the phone to someone you don't know.”

Seniors and persons with disabilities have been receiving automated phone calls saying that they are recipients of free person free personal emergency and medical alert services at little or no cost.

The message continues to say that someone else has ordered the system for them and that the phone call is to verify shipping instructions.

The listener is then told to press a button to speak to someone in customer service.

The customer service representative then asks the listener for a credit card and other personal information.

If the listener already has an emergency system, the representative then pretends to be from their existing provider.

The Commission on Aging and Disability have helpful tips to avoid scams, including:

  • “Do not share any bank or credit card information with anyone that you do not know
  • If you receive a call and you are suspicious, hang up
  • Do not give out any personal information and ask for contact information from the caller. If they will not provide call back information, it is most likely a fraudulent call
  • Do not follow any prompts (even if it is to remove your number from their list)
  • If you have a medical alert system and are unsure about a call, hang up and contact your provider or your case manager directly
  • Register with the National Do Not Call Registry which allows consumers to opt-out of telemarketing calls to their home or cell phones”

Anyone who believes they have been a victim of a scam is urged to call their local law offices.

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