A Florida AARP member has alerted the association to a new scam, in which a door-to-door sales representative pretending to be from AARP visited a Sunshine State manufactured-home park selling an electronic “medical alert system.”
“AARP does not send salespeople to your door to sell electronic medical-alert systems or anything else,” said Jeff Johnson, AARP Florida state director. “If you encounter this scam artist, slam the door in his face. It’s a rip-off.”
This week, AARP received an email from an AARP member saying that a man “in an AARP polo shirt with a clipboard” appeared at her door, saying he had gotten her name from AARP for a "Medical Alert Button on a lanyard.”
The scammer provided an identification with “AARP” on it and told the resident that he had information that she needed the electronic alert system because of her past medical history.
The scammer had a convincing story, even telling her that the lanyard button was equipped with a GPS-enabled tracker that would enable her to summon emergency medical assistance from outside her home. He then signed her up for a medical alert service and charged her credit card $39.95 a month.
In fact, AARP does not endorse the system sold to this member and does not share member information with any such company, Johnson said. AARP sales representatives do not normally visit members’ homes. sit members’ homes.
Should you encounter the same scammers, here are some helpful tips:
- Call the AARP Fraud Watch Network (877-908-3360) and alert network representatives about this scam. AARP will share the information with Fraud Watch Network members who live in that area and post information about the scam online, so consumers can protect themselves. This might be a good time to join the Fraud Watch Network.
- Never give anyone your credit card information unless they have established themselves as trustworthy. AARP knows that some scammers are very persuasive. Should you discover you have given your credit or debit card information to a con artist, contact your bank, tell them this purchase was made under fraudulent circumstances and ask that the charge be reversed.
- Find out what the transaction name was used to debit the money, and tell the bank to not allow any more charges from that company.
- Remember that con artists share or sell credit-card information to each other. To be on the safe side, you should consider contacting your credit card company to cancel your current card and ask for a new card with a different number. Remember that you will have to update your credit card information on any recurring transactions that you want to continue.
- Alert the local police department and file a complaint against the name of the company.
- Please let us know here at AARP Florida by emailing email@example.com so we can alert our legal staff, Fraud Watch Network and our members.