Maine Attorney General Janet T. Mills warns Maine elders to be wary of a phone scam in which the callers lead you to believe you are eligible for a free Life Alert or medical alert device product and then ask for sensitive, personal financial information. Life Alert is well-known for the tag line, “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”

“Seniors should always be wary of anyone calling them to tell them that they are eligible for free products in exchange for their personal information,” said Mills. “Legitimate companies do not operate like this. This scam is particularly insidious because it trades on the well-known brand of Life Alert, which is intended for very vulnerable senior citizens.”

The company that produces the real Life Alert product has filed a lawsuit against those who have been impersonating Life Alert through scam phone calls, and lying and manipulating seniors into providing personal and financial information. The named defendants include LifeWatch Inc. and Connect America.com (aka Medical Alert), two companies that purport to be legitimate providers of personal emergency response systems.

The Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office has received numerous complaints from Maine seniors about the Life Alert product scam. If Maine seniors believe they have been a target of this scam, they should call the Consumer Protection Division: 800-436-2131 or email [email protected]

In other news for seniors, the Lakes Region Senior Center, 40 Acorn St, Little Falls School, Gorham, is a drop-in center where daily activities include crafts, cards, board games, Wii games and more. It is open from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Get your blood pressure checked free by the Gorham Health Council on Tuesday, June 25, at 10 a.m. A Weight Encouragement Group meets the second and fourth Wednesday; a yoga teacher will be instructing chair yoga at 10:45 a.m.; and there’s bingo every Thursday at 10 a.m.

Welcome to Medicare seminars are scheduled regularly by the Southern Maine Agency on Aging. On Tuesdays, July 2 and 16, the offers a Medicare seminar and counseling at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church at 919 Roosevelt Trail, Windham.

The seminar is scheduled from 10 a.m.-noon. In addition to the Medicare seminar, there will be one-on-one counseling with volunteer Medicare advocates available from 9 a.m.- to noon. The seminar and counseling are intended to help you sort through your Medicare options, answer questions and to help you enroll.

In addition to Medicare assistance, counseling on tax and rent rebate, food stamps, and fuel assistance can be arranged.

Call the Southern Maine Agency on Aging to register for an upcoming seminar or to make a one-on-one appointment with a Medicare Advocate at 396-6500 or 800-427-7411 Walk-ins can usually be accommodated. SMAA holds these sessions in other locations, as well. Visit www.smaaa.org for more information.

Kay Soldier welcomes reader ideas for column topics of interest to seniors. She can be reached by email at [email protected], or write to 114 Tandberg Trail, Windham, ME 04062.


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