New phone scam targets seniors in central Illinois

By WEEK Producer

New phone scam targets seniors in central Illinois

May 14, 2013 Updated May 14, 2013 at 3:20 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- The Better Business Bureau is warning residents of a new scam making the rounds in central Illinois.

According to the BBB, seniors are receiving "robo-calls" from a company identifying itself as "Emergency Medical Alert Systems" offering a free medical alert system.

The caller claims that everything is paid for and that the call is just to confirm shipping instructions. Many consumers are told they were recommended for the product by a family member or friend.

After accepting the offer, the consumer quickly receives another call asking for personal information including a credit card number.

Consumers in other parts of the country have reported receiving call that give the same offer, but hang-up the phone when questioned on its validity.

No matter what option is offered, customers are being advised to hang-up.

"A reputable marketing company will never contact you using these pre-recorded messages," said Jessica Tharp, Vice President of the BBB of Central Illinois. "Never, ever, give out your personal information over the phone to an unknown party. Just hang-up the phone."

The BBB says this company may claim to be associated with the American Heart Association or American Senior Benefits but it is not connected to those two legitimate organizations in any way.

For more information on avoiding scams visit the Better Business Bureau's website.