The Michigan Attorney General’s office wants you to beware of a new scam that is targeting seniors. A phone caller will claim to be from LifeStation or Life Alert and indicate that the senior has won the free use of a medical alert device. The catch is that there is a monthly fee for monitoring the device, and that is how the scammers obtain personal information, including credit card numbers or bank account information.

The scam is particularly effective because it trades on the well-known brand, Life Alert, which assists vulnerable senior citizens. Legitimate Life Alert officers are suing a few of the outfits that are misrepresenting affiliation with the company, but the best defense if usually a good offense.

To protect yourself, keep these things in mind:

  1. First, legitimate companies do not operate by making random phone calls and offering free products.
  2. Second, scammers are typically reluctant to discuss the cost of the monthly service fee or the cancellation policy. Some have gone as far as claiming that their firm has “100 percent customer satisfaction” and that they were “endorsed” by the American Diabetes Association. (The American Diabetes Association does NOT test advertised products and does not “endorse” the safety of products).
  3. Third, do not provide personal information over the phone, especially when you did not initiate the contact with the company.

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