The Medical Equipment Robocall Scam

Mom read in her local paper last week about a new scam targeting seniors. Days later, she received a call from one of the scammers and was happy that she had read about it before she received the call. I have copied the text below from an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (JS Online.)

Public Investigator

Medical equipment robocall scam targeting Fox Valley seniors

By Gitte Laasby of the Journal Sentinel

April 22, 2013

Wisconsin officials are warning seniors about a possible medical equipment scam.

Over the past couple of weeks, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s consumer information hotline has received a dozen or more calls from seniors in the Fox Valley region, including Appleton and the Green Bay area.

So far, none of these callers claim to have been victimized. But the callers say they received a robocall telling them to expect delivery of a piece of medical or alert equipment that afternoon. The call claims that the equipment is paid for, but the seniors never ordered it.

Consumer protection officials say the robocalls appear to use spoofed numbers on caller ID systems. The messages sound like they are “live” because they are recorded with sounds of shuffling papers and other call agents in the background.

Officials warn that the person in the message may ask call recipients to respond to prompts on their phone keypads, possibly to verify delivery of an order. They say people would likely be asked to give out personal or banking information if they attempt to speak to an operator.

“DATCP advises anyone who receives a similar call to hang up immediately,” DATCP said in a news release. “Do not press any keys to verify information or to speak to an operator.”

If you get calls, you can file a complaint with the police or contact the state’s consumer information hotline toll-free at (800) 422-7128. You can also visit the DATCP website or send an e-mail to datcphotline@wisconsin.gov.

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