HE SPEAKS WITH A STRONG, authoritative voice about life-threatening situations in which you may be unable to summon help.
For a moment, albeit brief, I almost believe him, that the American Heart Association in conjunction with the American Diabetes Association is offering free medical emergency alert equipment to me if only I’ll press “1” on my phone for more information.
But I am smart enough to realize a scam when I hear one. Yet, I can understand, as the recorded message continues, how a vulnerable senior citizen could fall victim to this fraud.
“You’ll never have to feel worried or helpless again,” the convincing voice reassures me.
But be assured, this is a scam, an attempt to defraud consumers, according to a representative I spoke with this afternoon at the American Heart Association.
I asked whether the AHA had issued/would be issuing a news release to warn the public as I’d be happy to share that information on this blog. Not at this time, she said, because the same scam circulated several months ago and had been reported to the FBI. The rep suggested I call local law enforcement. I already had.
Last week I reported the potential scam to the Faribault Police Department. But because I had not been defrauded, I was told the matter would not be investigated and that the call could, indeed, be legitimate.
OK then, are you serious? I emphasized that I was convinced the offer was bogus. That mattered not. I thought I was doing the right thing by alerting police before any local residents became crime victims.
Today, after receiving the same phone call trying to convince me I needed this free medical emergency alert device, I did my own investigating by calling the American Heart Association then following up with a call to the Rice County Attorney’s Office. I am awaiting a return call.
In the meantime, if your phone rings and the caller offers you free medical emergency alert equipment and assures you that “You’ll never have to feel worried or helpless again,” don’t believe it.
Your worries will have just begun.
© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling