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Senior telephone scam alert

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LA Attorney General warns senior citizens against phone scams LA Attorney General warns senior citizens against phone scams
LOUISIANA -

The Louisiana Attorney General's Consumer Protection Section is warning Louisiana seniors to be on guard for telephone con artists promising free medical alert devices. The Attorney General's Office has seen an increase in reports of unsolicited telephone calls, which often trick consumers into thinking the calls are coming from a legitimate company.

"Consumers should be wary of unsolicited calls and refrain from sending any money for so-called free products," cautions Sanettria "Sam" Pleasant, Director of the Attorney General's Public Protection Division. She also advises that consumers should never provide personal financial information to anyone who calls them -- regardless of whom the caller claims to be.

"If a free offer requires money and personal information, it is usually a scam," says Pleasant.

Here is how the free medical alert device scam works:

• The scammer calls the victim saying they are eligible to receive a free medical alert device.

• The scammer asks the victim to provide personal information and pay money to cover costs associated with receiving the product.

• The scammer then instructs the victim to send a payment, usually via Western Union, in order to receive the free device.

Scammers make the calls, changing the name and number that appears on caller ID to show a real company's name and landline phone number instead of the scammers' own. The practice is called "spoofing."

Citizens who believe they may have been contacted by a con artist using the free medical alert device scam are encouraged to contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline toll-free by calling 800-351-4889. For more information on how to avoid scams, visit www.agbuddycaldwell.com.

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