Phone scam preys on senior citizens; Bakersfield Police Dept. offers tips to avoid becoming victim

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A telephone scam is preying on senior citizens and local law enforcement is suggesting tips on how to avoid being a victim.

The scam reportedly involved a phone call offering a 'free' medical alert system; however, it is not free. The scammers allegedly coerce the victims into disclosing personal information, which is then used for identity theft.

The caller claims to work for or with a common medical provider and informs the receiver that their 'free' medical alert system is ready to be picked up. As the call continues, the caller requests personal information, such as a credit card number or social security number.

The Bakersfield Police Department offers a few simple tips when receiving suspicious calls:

--When you do not know the caller and are unfamiliar with an offer, do not provide any personal information, including name, birthdate, credit card number, social security number, etc.

--Beware of 'free' offers. If something seems like it is too good to be true, it probably is.

--Don't rely simply on caller ID. Criminals can utilize technology to display a fake number.

--Report suspicious activity to law enforcement. This enables officials to track trends and notify others to prevent further victimization.

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