A medical equipment scam is targeting senior citizens in the Fox Valley.
Target 2 has learned waves of consumers have filed dozens of complaints with both Wisconsin Consumer Protection and the Better Business Bureau.
The seniors say they've been getting multiple robocalls at all hours of the night.
Susan Bach, director of the Better Business Bureau for Northeast Wisconsin describes the calls as follows:
"Very ominous, kind of a scary tone to them.... warning them that you could be unsafe in your home, and offering them a medical alert device and they're robocalls."
These automated calls tell the potential victims to expect delivery of a home medical alert device. The issue: they've never ordered the device.
"We always caution people: 'you should be the one in charge, you should initiate the contact or sale, when you get a robocall from somebody you just don't know who's behind that call, it could be somebody trying to sell you a product," said Bach. "They could be trying to steal your bank account information, it could be somebody who is just trying to collect good numbers for a telemarketer to sell them for other ominous purposes."
Consumer Protection says these robocalls may sound like they're live with shuffling papers and additional call agents in the background.
The person in the message may ask call recipients to respond to prompts on their phone keypad, possibly to confirm delivery of an order. Do not follow any instructions to follow prompts on their phone keypads. By doing so you actually confirm a legitimate phone number and calls may continue. Callers also could be asked to give over personal or banking information if they attempt to speak to someone. Click this link for more information: http://datcp.wi.gov/Consumer/Consumer_Alerts/?Id=816
Bach tells consumers to follow advice from the Federal Trade Commission.
They tell people to just hang up and screen their calls. They say you can contact your phone provider to block the phone number, but if the robocalls are coming from a spoofed number that could be difficult.
You can buy a device to block multiple phone numbers. However, they can cost $50 to $100. Consumers also report to the FTC putting the three special tones which represent a non-working number at the beginning of their voicemail. Consumers say they've used these special chimes on their voicemail and it's reduced the number of robocalls.
You can file a complaint with Wisconsin Consumer Protection through the Consumer Information Hotline: 1-800-422-7128 or with the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/
Friday, August 29 2014 2:21 PM EDT2014-08-29 18:21:01 GMT
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