Robocalls target elderly and bombard homes

ATLANTA -- The next time your phone rings, you'll want to check your caller ID. A telemarketing scam hitting the Metro area is phishing for your information and if you bite, it could cost you hundreds of dollars.

File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission

"Sounded like a live person," Christie Hecht said.

We played the call for her that has been making the rounds in the Atlanta area and across the nation.

"I've heard that voice many times."

Hecht says she's received up to 40 calls from what she thought was someone trying to send her a free medical alert device.

Cindy Liebes with the FTC says the elderly are being targeted.

"We've received reports, not only that people are being solicited but that they're not receiving anything or even if they do, that it's not being monitored," she said.

The medical alert systems are not the problem - the calls are.

It's a robocall and according to the FTC they are illegal. Earlier this year the agency took action against a company operating a similar scheme.

The call that Hecht received asked her to press '1' for her free device with free shipping, implying that someone in her family or someone she knows had set up the order for her.

"He makes it sound like oh somebody has already purchased this or you've received this an award for something," she said.

This past year the FTC has received 10,416 complaints about robocalls offering free medical alert systems. Often the numbers are difficult to trace.

We were able to link one of the numbers to a company in Phoenix and to a registered agent but attempts to find the person behind the calls lead to a dead end.

Investigators say that often the calls are made through the internet and can spoof any area code, meaning they could be coming from anywhere in the world.

Hecht now checks her caller ID and even though she listed her number with the National Do Not Call Registry. She keeps getting them.

"We know by the caller ID, that it's them. There they are again,"she said with a sigh.


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