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$3000 in Free Groceries? Right. A Medical ID Scam

By September 6, 2013

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I hope I can save your identity for you. I hope you won't fall for this phishing scam because you receive this wonderful sounding promise - then give away too much personal information.

Foolishly these people called me and left this message on my phone (you can read the script here.) I don't take these things lightly - instead, I do whatever I can to shut down fraud, especially when I'm afraid that the intended targets will fall for the scam and give up their personal information.

Let's do away with these scammers so they don't find so many victims as to keep them in business.

Learn more about medical phone scams and how to protect yourself.

Learn about other medical phone scams and report a new one if you receive one.

Learn more about fraud and scams in healthcare.

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Agree? Disagree?

Share your experience or join the conversation!


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September 7, 2013 at 7:42 am
(1) francine lostocco says:

trisha, i love your site, i read it each week, i like your goldilocks article. i would like to share my experience about the too much medication. i have had a lot of medical issues. i have needed many surgeries, each time, when it comes to anesthesia, i try to tell whoever puts me out, that i have hypersensitivity to meds, and don’t do well with anesthesia, and am always given too much, i get a condesending smile, and reassurence, that this won’t happen, i am careful, i’ll take precautions. then upon waking i suffer terrible side effects, and am told after the fact, gee i guess you really are sensitive. i have side effects that last for more tha a few days. like dizzy spells, post operative cognitive dysfunction, post operative depression, withdrawal from the narcodics, constipation, mood wings that last for months. could you pleasae address this issue, and offer some suggestions, for anesthesia solution for people like me who are sensitive to drugs, to be taken seriously, by doctors, who think you don’t know what you are talking about, then try to give you anti depressents to deal with the withdrawal symptoms, which only really compound them, i learned this the hard way, and hope that no one has to suffer, from an acquired brain injury, caused by anesthesia overdosing. thank you for you dedication for the patients.

September 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm
(2) Trisha Torrey says:


Glad you find the info you find here at Patient Empowerment useful!

re: anesthesiologists who aren’t listening to you…. two suggestions:

1. Ask your primary to talk to the anesthesiologist ahead of time voicing your concerns and your previous experiences.

2. ask to meet with the anesthesiologist several days before your surgery, express your concerns, and ASK what can be done to eliminate these problems you have afterward.

I have no idea if either of these will work – but they are definitely worth a try.


September 12, 2013 at 2:31 pm
(3) Rachel says:

Or turn the table. Get as much information as you can about THEM: call-back phone number, street address, web site address, and CEO’s name are all good pieces of information to get hold of. And then make a report with the fraud department of your health insurance company if you have coverage. They will vet the information and forward it to appropriate authorities.

September 20, 2013 at 12:43 pm
(4) Sue says:

Thanks for posting the info about the senior free grocery and medic alert bracelet phishing scam! I found your website after receiving the call and googling for information after recognizing it as a potential scam.
I’m not yet a senior but have an elderly parent and it disgusts me that such a vulnerable population is being victimized!
I just filed my complaint with the National Do Not Call Registry as you suggested! Thank you!

September 30, 2013 at 3:56 pm
(5) gloria goldman says:

Trish . i just received a recorded call about the free groceries. I knew it was a way to get me to buy the medical alert monthly service.
Months ago i had spoken to someone who said someone had purchased a gift for me and it was a medical alert necklace.
said all i had to do was say i would receive it and it was free and mine. i asked who was sending me this gift? and there was no answer. iI said no thank you and hung up.
i Looked up the medical alert on line and called another company who said that the neck lace only works if you pay for service.
the system is free. i get these calls each week. i am on to their system and I try to call back to get their number . however thier number does not work in calling them back. Its a numbers game . if they call enough people.one will say yes. and thats it. i question most everyone who try to sell me on the phone. Thank you for alerting me of the Scam. Gg

November 7, 2013 at 2:12 am
(6) Brenda says:

I received the recorded call tonight re: free groceries and free medical alert. I didn’t punch 1 or 5. The call came from Silverdale, WA – 360-633-9336.

November 11, 2013 at 8:45 pm
(7) Frank Hawthorne says:

Thanks Trisha, for All your good sharing of warnings. My wife & I (who are only “young” seniors!) have been getting these telemarketing trolls calling at regular intervals, till today, when I was home from work & decided to “unload.” I did the No-No of pressing “1′ to speak to a representative; then (after being on hold for a couple minutes) I was connected to a polite gentleman using the Nom-de-Nuisance “Jay Rome.” In any case, I told Mr. Rome to “TAKE US OFF YOUR CALLING LIST; ASAP! and be advised that I’ll be reporting yor to the Consumer Affairs Division of the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office…” Don’t know if it did any good; but it sure did feel GOOD!

November 13, 2013 at 10:30 pm
(8) trosemo says:

Yep, just got this call – word for word the message you have above. Thankfully I just hung up but $3000 toward groceries is pretty tempting. I was sure I wasn’t the only person to receive this call so I googled. Thank you for confirming.

December 7, 2013 at 11:31 am
(9) TelemarketerHater says:

We just got this call (2d time today). Telemarketers like this need to be jailed in GITMO from which they cannot make calls. Or we should subcontract for a penal colony in North Korea, Siberia, or Iran. I had to defend one years ago. Give me an old fashioned first degree murderer or meth maker—they are reasonable. Telemarketers are psychopaths.

December 27, 2013 at 10:47 pm
(10) Elliott R says:

Thanks Trisha,
I got one of those calls….went on line and found your site.
Your a wonderful, concerned person to let us know what this is about.

January 3, 2014 at 12:18 pm
(11) ReeY says:

Yep, I got that call a couple days ago. No, I didn’t fall for it. Two reasons why:

1. Nothing is ever completely free; there’s always a catch.

2. If this were such a great deal and not a scam, it would have been reported in the news somewhere online.

Shame that some people are such lowdown skunks that they prey on the elderly. Leaves little hope for the chance of humans evolving into anything better.

January 4, 2014 at 1:53 pm
(12) Dennis Jaffe says:

Thanks, Trisha Torrey, for great work. I filed a complaint with the FTC after I received a scam call from a guy who said he was calling for Emergency Alert Care.
How to file Federal Trade Commission complaint links — at end of my post here.
The phone number displayed on my caller ID was illegitimate. I called back to check. I don’t know how, but some phone systems allow users to arrange phony phone numbers to appear on the caller ID of those who are called. I asked for the web address of the company. He gave me http://www.EmergencyAlertCare.com and then http://www.EmergencyAlertSystem.com . Neither worked.
He said that I, as a senior (I’m not) had been selected to receive a free medical alert system and $3,000 in discounts on groceries. He said either a health care provider submitted my information, or that I filled it out online. Neither was true.
I Googled Emergency Alert Care and Emergency Alert System and saw that the call was illegal since I am on the DoNotCall list. I read that the pitch used has been commonly reported as a scam.
I also heard a supervisor in the background tell his callers, “Ok, people listen up, close those deals!” Minutes later I heard him praise someone for terrific performance.
If you have *not previously registered your number with http://www.DoNotCall.gov, file your FTC complaint here:
If you *have previously registered your phone number with http://www.DoNotCall.gov, then file a complaint here:
Only by helping government agencies build a case against those behind these scams can there be at least a chance of shutting them down or penalizing them. I suspect the laws may not be strong enough — and that enforcement isn’t either, but these creeps are making money off of vulnerable people. Who knows what they provide for the money.

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