Seniors: That Offer for Free Medical Supplies Is a Total Scam

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
992506|black|blue|caucasian|cellular phone|communication|connection|elderly|happy|is546|is546-038|listening|male|man|mixed race|
Jupiterimages

If you get a pre-recorded call offering free medical equipment or medical supplies, watch out. You could be the latest target of a new scam targeting seniors as Medicare open enrollment nears.

One version of the con involves a call offering a "free" deal for an alarm system or medical supplies -- if you pay a low monthly charge. In another variation, the call is supposedly confirming a shipment of medicine or medical devices that your physician has sent to you. But -- as the Better Business Bureau warned on Friday -- they're scams. What the callers are really after is your personal information, or for you to agree to be billed for handling fees or other incidental charges.

Naturally, no matter what you agree to, you'll never receive those medical products. So if you bite on the free offer, you'll end up paying -- either with money or a headache.

Variations of the scam have been around for a while, but the most recent version is tied to Medicare's open enrollment, which runs Oct. 15. through Dec. 7. Other versions could aim at non-seniors.

What You Should Do

To avoid scams, check out callers with the BBB or with AARP, which also posted a warning about this scam. To quote directly from the BBB's press release, "If a call does the following, it's probably a scam:"

  • Tries to create a sense of panic. Scammers try to scare victims into immediate action, don't fall for it.
  • Claims you have been specifically identified for an offer, but doesn't know your name or anything about you. This is a sign that the call is actually being blasted out to thousands of phone numbers.
  • Promises something for free... that really isn't. Be wary of "free" offers that ask you to pay a handling fee or other charges.
  • Implies an endorsement from a well-known organization. In this case, the call claims the alarm system is endorsed by the American Heart Association and the "American Diabetic Association," which is really the "American Diabetes Association." Others claim a good BBB rating, so be sure to check this on BBB.org.
  • Watch for errors in fraudulent calls, such as referring to the American Diabetes Association as the "Diabetic Association.
  • The business doesn't have a legitimate mailing address and website. Victims of this scam report that staff refuse to provide basic business information, such as the address.
  • - See more at: http://www.bbb.org/blog/2014/10/scammers-trick-seniors-with-free-medical-devices/#sthash.H2QhS0gQ.dpuf
  • Tries to create a sense of panic. Scammers try to scare victims into immediate action, don't fall for it.
  • Claims you have been specifically identified for an offer, but doesn't know your name or anything about you. This is a sign that the call is actually being blasted out to thousands of phone numbers.
  • Promises something for free... that really isn't. Be wary of "free" offers that ask you to pay a handling fee or other charges.
  • Implies an endorsement from a well-known organization. In this case, the call claims the alarm system is endorsed by the American Heart Association and the "American Diabetic Association," which is really the "American Diabetes Association." Others claim a good BBB rating, so be sure to check this on BBB.org.
  • Watch for errors in fraudulent calls, such as referring to the American Diabetes Association as the "Diabetic Association.
  • The business doesn't have a legitimate mailing address and website. Victims of this scam report that staff refuse to provide basic business information, such as the address.
  • - See more at: http://www.bbb.org/blog/2014/10/scammers-trick-seniors-with-free-medical-devices/#sthash.H2QhS0gQ.dpuf

• Tries to create a sense of panic. Scammers try to scare victims into immediate action, don't fall for it.

• Claims you have been specifically identified for an offer, but doesn't know your name or anything about you. This is a sign that the call is actually being blasted out to thousands of phone numbers.

• Promises something for free... that really isn't. Be wary of "free" offers that ask you to pay a handling fee or other charges.

• Implies an endorsement from a well-known organization. In this case, the call claims the alarm system is endorsed by the American Heart Association and the "American Diabetic Association," which is really the "American Diabetes Association." Others claim a good BBB rating, so be sure to check this on BBB.org.

• Watch for errors in fraudulent calls, such as referring to the American Diabetes Association as the "Diabetic Association."

• The business doesn't have a legitimate mailing address and website. Victims of this scam report that staff refuse to provide basic business information, such as the address.

  • Tries to create a sense of panic. Scammers try to scare victims into immediate action, don't fall for it.
  • Claims you have been specifically identified for an offer, but doesn't know your name or anything about you. This is a sign that the call is actually being blasted out to thousands of phone numbers.
  • Promises something for free... that really isn't. Be wary of "free" offers that ask you to pay a handling fee or other charges.
  • Implies an endorsement from a well-known organization. In this case, the call claims the alarm system is endorsed by the American Heart Association and the "American Diabetic Association," which is really the "American Diabetes Association." Others claim a good BBB rating, so be sure to check this on BBB.org.
  • Watch for errors in fraudulent calls, such as referring to the American Diabetes Association as the "Diabetic Association.
  • The business doesn't have a legitimate mailing address and website. Victims of this scam report that staff refuse to provide basic business information, such as the address.
  • - See more at: http://www.bbb.org/blog/2014/10/scammers-trick-seniors-with-free-medical-devices/#sthash.H2QhS0gQ.dpuf
Read Full Story

Want more news like this?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from business news to personal finance tips delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners