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Cuccinelli Warns of Phone Scams Targeting Seniors - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Cuccinelli Warns of Phone Scams Targeting Seniors

Posted: Updated:

Office of the Attorney General
Press Release

RICHMOND (June 27, 2013) - Today, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli warned citizens to be cautious of scam phone calls targeting Virginia's seniors.  The scammers pose as representatives of a medical alert company claiming to need additional information, such as a credit or debit card number and home address, in order to have a free medical alert device delivered to their home.  Although the caller claims that the device is free, the targets are told that there is a monitoring fee for the service, thus giving the scammers access to personal and financial information.

The Office of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Section has received several inquiries from consumers who were suspicious after receiving such calls.

"This is a good reminder to all Virginians: never give out your personal or financial information when someone initiates a call to you," said Cuccinelli.  "If you receive a call from a stranger and you did not order a medical device-or any other product for that matter-- hang up immediately."

Cuccinelli urged citizens to protect themselves from scammers and offers these tips:

  • Be wary of anyone offering you something for free in exchange for your personal information. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 
  • Do not give personal information such as Medicare or Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, credit or debit card numbers, or home address in response to unsolicited telephone calls. 
  • Automated recorded calls from companies are illegal if you have not given a company written permission to call you-even if you have not signed up for the national Do Not Call Registry. To add your number to the registry, you can call 888-382-1222 from the phone you wish to register or visit DoNotCall.gov. 
  • If you are on the National Do Not Call Registry and have no prior existing business relationship with the company, these telemarketing calls also violate the law.  You can file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission at FTCComplaintAssistant.gov. 

If you have questions about this scam or if you feel you have been a victim, the Office of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection telephone counselors are available to assist you with your consumer questions. Please call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-552-9963 if calling from Virginia, or 804-786-2042 if calling from the Richmond area. The Consumer Protection office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

More about Attorney General Cuccinelli

Photos of the attorney general

A copy of this news release may be found on the attorney general's web site here.

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