The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

December 19, 2013

Security system scam alert


TARBORO — The Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office and Edgecombe County Office on Aging are warning seniors in the county to beware of a telemarketing scam that involves you giving them your credit card number and the company fraudulently taking your money.

The scammers call themselves Senior Safety Alert, Senior Emergency Care or Senior Safe Alert.

These telemarketing calls are supposedly selling a personal emergency alarm system. This alarm is supposed to help protect seniors in the event of break-ins or medical emergencies. The system, according to the recorded call is worth hundreds of dollars – is to be installed free, and then a monthly charge of $30 will be billed for the service.

The recording then prompts the listener to press a button to speak to a customer service representative for verification purposes. The real purpose of speaking to a person is to get your credit card information and other personal identifying information for the purpose of identity theft.

Pay attention, the scam here is not the call itself - there are legitimate companies that do that - it's the criminals impersonating the official services, taking your credit card's number and the personal information for themselves.

Many of the seniors who reported receiving these calls were on the Federal Do Not Call Registry, making it all the more suspicious.  Scammers make similar robo-calls claiming to be companies such as First Alert Company, Senior Safe Alert, Medical Emergency, Medical Alert Company, Life Alert USA, Senior Safe Alert, Emergency Medical Alert Systems, Medical Alarms Hewitt or Lifewatch.  The reputable companies will rarely call you unsolicited and ask for your credit card number.

If you have any concerns you can contact the Edgecombe County Office on Aging at 641-5831 or the sheriff’s office at 641-7911.