Live Radar: Follow the storms moving across Oklahoma

In Your Corner: Scam robocalls

OKLA. CITY – Claudia McAlister’s day was interrupted by one of those pesky robocalls.

“He said, ‘Well, a relative or a friend or someone has paid for you, a medical alert,’” Claudia said. “I was  silent for a minute and he said, ‘Even the shipping is paid for.’

Claudia already has a medical alert device.

“If I’m in a disaster, I can punch that,” she said.

The scam works to evoke fear in those most vulnerable, like the elderly and disabled.

Russell Hayes received a similar automated message promising a free medical alert system.

“It gave the impression it was the thing you see on TV hanging around your neck with a button to push,” he said.

While the product might be free, the monitoring service is not.

Here’s what you need to know.

By accepting the shipment of the device, you’re also agreeing to a large recurring bill.

Claudia said, “A medical alert is not worth anything unless it’s monitored and if it’s monitored, that creates a monthly charge.”

The Better Business Bureau warns of the scam on its website.

Earlier this year the Federal Trade Commission took action against a Brooklyn, New York company called Instant Response Systems, which also goes by the name Medical Alert Services.

Court records obtained by the In Your Corner team show some telemarketers used “threats and intimidation to coerce payment.”

Here’s the In Your Corner bottom line.

  • An offer is never free if you have to provide your credit card or banking information to claim it.
  • Do not press any buttons.
  • Do not engage in a conversation.
  • Simply hang up the phone
  • File complaint with the Federal Trade Commission