It's an old scam with a new twist, telemarketers targeting seniors. The latest to hit our area offers thousands of dollars in food coupons for free. "Seniors are targeted because often times they have land lines, so people can call these numbers and often times they're home," explains Timothy Johnston of the Better Business Bureau. Fortunately, many tech savvy seniors, like Donna Bbodway, are getting wise to these robocallers. She says she received a call around 7:00 PM earlier this week. The caller told her as a senior over 60 she was entitled to a free medical alert bracelet, and $3,000 worth of free food coupons.
Bodway says she wouldn't usually answer calls from numbers she doesn't recognize, but her caller ID said "alert" and she was concerned it could be important. "It was from an area code that I believe was in Sacramento," she says. "And I thought 'who's alerting me from sacramento?'" After she heard the pitch, she knew right away it was a scam. She hung up, and the the senior cyber sleuth immediately starting searching the web for more information.
According to Timothy Johnston of the Better Business Bureau, ignoring the call completely and hanging up is the best way to handle it. He says don't even try to opt out. "Often times we think that that will result in us not getting calls, but now the scammer knows that your number is a live number, and so now they'll continue to call that." he says. If you are interested in a product offered to you in an unsolicited call, Johnston advices getting a number to call back. Don't offer payment. Instead, research the company and call back at a time that works with your schedule and your budget. For more help, check out the link below.