US Life Care and internet non-private information

General discussion of identity theft issues, including identity theft schemes, phishing scams, and related issues.
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Kestrel
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US Life Care and internet non-private information

Postby Kestrel » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:49 am

I'm posting this because my mother, a senior citizen and a widow, was the target of an apparent telephone scam artist today. She fortunately has not been the recipient of many such calls (at least that's what caller ID indicates), but being an elderly lady with a failing short-term memory, she is the type of person likely to fall victim to a telephone scammer without realizing it.

The caller was someone pitching identity protection services for seniors. The caller ID read "USLIFECARE" and the phone number displayed was from the 214 area code, which is Dallas, TX. I answered the phone, listened to the first part of the sales pitch, interrupted the caller to inform him that the number he called was on the Do Not Call List, and asked whether his company had a business relationship with us. He hung up immediately without answering.

A quick web search indicates that US Life Care may be a legitimate company, or it may not. Nowhere on their website do I find an address or other identifying information normally shown by legitimate companies. The only contact information given is an 888 number and a fill-in-the-blanks window for requesting information.

Even if US Life Care is a legitimate company, a scum-sucking scam artist may have hijacked their name and number for caller ID spoofing. US Life Care's website doesn't advertise identity protection service, which is what the caller was pitching. US Life Care sells medical alert monitoring devices, like the ones advertised by the lady on the bathroom floor crying "help I've fallen and I can't get up."

I've written the company name and number on a post-it next to her phone, with instructions to mom to not give the caller any information. That's about all I can do for her.

Mom asked how the caller could have gotten her phone number and known she was a senior citizen, expecially because she is so careful to shred every bit of mail which reveals her name and address. I did a quick web search and, in less than 3 minutes, showed her a variety of websites which revealed her full name and age, my father's full name and the age he would be if he was still alive, her address, phone number, the value of her home, her neighbors' names and phone numbers, photos of her house (aerial and street level view), her children's names and ages, their spouses' names and ages... And that's just the stuff available for free. I didn't even try looking at any of the website selling personal information.

The world has changed. Nothing is private any more. If I can find all that information with a few clumsy keystrokes, I know the scammers can harvest it by the boatload with their sophisticated scambots, then use it to selectively target the vulnerable.

I just wish I could do something about it. Viva la libertad! Just watch out for your wallet, and your dear old mother's wallet, too.
"Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig." - Robert Heinlein

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webhick
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Re: US Life Care and internet non-private information

Postby webhick » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:34 pm

It's times like this that I wish that a credit card could be limited to a set list of companies and in-person purchases
When chosen for jury duty, tell the judge "fortune cookie says guilty" - A fortune cookie

BE1060

Re: US Life Care and internet non-private information

Postby BE1060 » Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:24 am

My mom is elderly too and got scammed by this company (USLifecare). Back in June or July of this year 2013, a guy from Western Medical in Houston, Texas came to our house & signed my mom up for a medical alert device through US Lifecare. Everything sounded legit. He was also selling knee & back braces as well. Anyway, mom got all signed up for her medical alert device which came with our choice of either the wrist alert, or a pendant type. Mom opted for the pendant. So approximately a week or two later we got the device, but they sent the wrist watch type not the pendant! I was not happy, but I told mom to just use that one until I had a chance to call them & get the other one. The night we got the device, I called the 888-868-9031 number on the top of the device to begin the set up process. The lady was a foreigner, but was helpful & pleasant to deal with. So we got everything all set up, & the lady even had me press the alert button to test the device to make sure it was working! I was impressed & thanked her for all her help and the conversation concluded. So a couple of weeks later, I called them and told them that initially mom chose the pendant type of alert button, but instead received the wrist one. The man said no problem, they would be happy to get one out to us and even would send a post paid envelope for me to send the wrist one back in! Again I was impressed with the customer service. Then that's when things started to go south. We waited 6 weeks before the pendant arrived with the return envelope. I was not happy. But I sent the other one back & put the pendant on moms nightstand where it stayed. We never used it or tested it to see if it worked. Big mistake!!!
Meanwhile all this time, mom is being billed $9.95/mo for the service!
So last week I was going to have to leave mom unattended for quite a while, so I encouraged her to put on the pendant until I got home just in case. Then before I left, I said let me just give it a test run to see if it works...NOTHING HAPPENED!!!!!! I was livid! I called them immediately and NO ANSWER! And it wasn't after hours either! I cancelled my plan, stayed home, and called them every hour on the hour for the remainder of the day and all it did was RING & RING & RING!!!!!!! So yesterday I called because I was wanting to cancel our service & find out where to send the equipment, because on the bottom of the monitor, it says "Medical Equipment DO NOT DISCARD". When the woman answered, I simply said "we are not satisfied with the equipment & want to cancel, & the woman promptly hung up on me. When I tried to call back...yep you guessed it, it just RANG & RANG. So I tried from my cell phone, and same thing!!!!!
I immediately called moms credit card company and told them about it, and we cancelled her card, & stopped any further charges from being charged from US Lifecare. Her cc company is going to refund my moms money, and issue her a new card.
Like the other guy who posted on here, I too went to http://www.uslifecare.com, and they give all kinds of info about their company including testimonials of all things! I can almost bet you they are ALL FAKE!!!!!
I HATE PEOPLE, AND COMPANIES THAT PREY ON THE ELDERLY!!!!! IT HAS TO STOP!!!!!
Tomorrow I'm contacting that Western Medical company where that guy that came to our house works!

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notorial dissent
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Re: US Life Care and internet non-private information

Postby notorial dissent » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:07 am

Welcome to Quatloos, sorry it is for this reason.

Please go one step further, and file formal complaints with your state attorney general and consumer fraud units, and also file a written complaint with the FTC, and Better Business Bureau wouldn't hurt.

The only way to stop things like this is to file formal complaints against them.
The fact that you sincerely and wholeheartedly believe that the “Law of Gravity” is unconstitutional and a violation of your sovereign rights, does not absolve you of adherence to it.


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