Is it the real Life Alert...or a scam?

Don't Waste Your Money

Millions of Americans subscribe to "Life Alert," the service that calls police if you fall in your home and can't get to a phone for help.

But a new scam is targeting older adults everywhere, preying on the familiarity of those popular TV commercials. How can you tell if its the real Life Alert?

Calls Come All Hours of the Day

Carol Gibbs says one of the worst things about getting older is that questionable people start calling day and night. They even leave messages on her answering machine, telling her she has qualified for a medical alert system.

"It's the "I've fallen and can't get up" system you've seen on TV...." one message on her machine said.

Carol has recently received more than a dozen robocalls offering free alert systems.

The voice on another message says "It's already been paid for, so there's no cost to you whatever...."

But what raised the red flag was when the robot voice said it was "like" the famous Life Alert of TV ad fame, not the actual Life Alert, which is a patented brand name.

"The thing that struck me was that it was "like" the Life Alert system being show on TV, which was very unprofessional."

Did Someone Really Buy it For You?

She says she caught another lie: That a concerned family member bought her the system, and she just has to say yes.

"Now its that it has been paid for, the shipping has been paid for, and someone is worried about me, cause someone close to me has fallen. None of which is true."

The Better Business Bureau and several State Attorneys General are calling this a scam.

They say the real Life Alert company has nothing to do with it. But the scams, they say, are tarnishing Life Alert's name.

Rather, the AG's say these are sound-alike scam artists who want your bank or credit card number, to start billing you as much as $100 a month.

So Carol wants to get the word out.

"My fear is that someone is going to fall for it, and it will be one of those situations where someone takes money and they will continue to take money. People are very vulnerable when they're elderly."

If you remember one thing from this, remember that Life Alert will never call you to offer you a free system.

So let your older relatives know that, so they don't fall victim and so you don't waste your money.


Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

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