Deceptive Marketing Practices Target Hawaii Seniors

  
     
Hawaii’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning seniors, their families and their caretakers of a medical telemarketing scam that has been bombarding island residence.
February 26, 2014

Hawaii’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning seniors, their families and their caretakers of a medical telemarketing scam that has been bombarding island residence.

“BBB is advising that residents just hang up if they receive unsolicited calls for medical equipment from unfamiliar companies” Says Gregory D. Dunn, CEO of Hawaii’s BBB. “In many cases, these telemarketers are attempting to obtain personal identifiable information that can be used to commit identity theft or that result in recurring charges to a victim’s bank account or credit card.”

Scammers are asking for personal information such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, credit card or bank account numbers in order to “check” on if a consumer qualifies for discounted products or services.

Consumers have reported to Hawaii’s BBB, that they are receiving up to 10 calls in one day and that telemarketers aggressively trying to sell various medical products and services while phishing for consumer information. 


BBB warns consumers to be on the lookout for the following red flags:

  • Refusal to answer questions: If the caller is evasive or refuses to provide contact information or complete offer details, tell them you will not provide any information or make any decisions until you get all details in writing.
  • Implied endorsement: If a seller claims its product has been endorsed by another reputable organization, check directly with that organization to verify the endorsement.
  • Scare tactics: Being trapped in your own home with no way to call for help can be a scary situation for anyone, but for many seniors, it can be a realistic scenario.  Don’t fall for scare tactics.
  • Calls for immediate action: If the caller says, “This offer is good for today only.”