Scam claiming to be with "Life Alert" could end with more calls, identify theft

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by Chris Nagus / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on August 7, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 7 at 9:45 PM

 (KMOV) –The “Do Not Call” List doesn’t mean anything for two men whose robo-calls sound like a real person offering a great deal but pushing two could lead to more calls or identify theft.

Patty Hoppe of Fenton got the call from a man who identified himself as John. On the call, he claims he is with Emergency Medical Alert and they’re offering a well-known product.

“It’s the fallen and I can’t get up system you have seen on TV.”

The commercials were famous but the company behind the product, Life Alert, has a fraud warning on their website. They say they don’t use telemarketers and they never cold call anyone.

A Fraud Investigator with the St. Louis Circuit attorney’s office, Dan Rechtin, said his office has received dozens of complaints pertaining to this scam. The St. Louis Better Business Bureau has also received calls with various spin-off companies offering the same product, claiming it’s free.

The call claim if the victim pushes one, they will get the hard sales pitch.

Rechtin said that pitch usually leads to a request for credit card information. He said that can result in identity theft or hefty monitoring fees. No the free offer they’re claiming.

The robo-caller also gives customers an option to push 2 or another number to decline the offer. This is something Rechtin said the victim should never do.

“If you press two, no I don’t want any calls, you are alerting them there’s a live person on the end of the line. You are going to get even more calls so always hang up on any robo-call,” Rechtin said.

Bottom Line: Hang up! There’s also another trick these guys are using to get callers to pick up, even for people who are diligent about screening calls. News 4’s Chris Nagus will expose that trick on News 4 this Morning on Thursday. 

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