Aug 18, 2015 2:32 PM

NH1 News Investigates Lost On The Line: Phone scam targets elderly NH residents

AUBURN - It's an old scam making a come back and this time it’s happening in the town of Auburn.

And to make matters worse - it is targeting the elderly.

The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office says they are well aware of the phone calls aimed at older adults that use high-pressure sales tactics to try and rob them blind.

The calls use a device from the popular 1980s commercials that feature the emergency medical alerts for elderly people to wear.

20 years later, scammers are using the device as a way to rob NH residents.

The call tells the person on the other end that a loved one or their doctor bought them this type of device and all they need to do is press 1 to activate it.

If the person falls for the scam and pays $35, the real cost could be giving over credit card or bank information to the scammers.

“I'm 74,” says Pauline MacDonald of Auburn. She said she wouldn’t fall fall for the scam if she got the call. “No, absolutely not,” MacDonald says.

But unlike MacDonald, plenty of people have.

In an effort to warn people, Auburn police took to Facebook on Friday to get the word out.

So far, the Federal Trade Commission or FTV has worked with other States attorney general and in Florida, they were able to shut down one company making the calls.

The scam was even included in a top 10 scam list by the Better Business Bureau.

As for MacDonald, she remembers those commercials and hopes that the intended victims don’t fall for the scam.

Experts say the best advice is to hang up right away.

Auburn Police saying on Facebook that they can’t do anything to stop the harassing calls but if you get a call, call them and the FTC.

Here's more information on reporting a complaint to the FTC.

You can also call the FTC at 877-FTC-HELP.


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