ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - A sense of security and thousands of dollars in food, all free. Does it sound too good to be true? It is.
In Thursday's 5 on Your Side, Mike Rush exposes a scam aimed at the elderly.
"There's no cost to you whatsoever, also it says that the shipping has been paid for..."
The message sounds like a win-win, but Lorri Baldridge isn't fooled.
"I'm old enough to know there's no free lunch," Baldridge said.
While she'd rather not discuss exactly how old, Baldridge sure wants to spread the word on the so-called free lunch.
It came in the form of not one, but two phone calls. She saved one of the messages.
"Hi, this is Betty from the shipping department of the Senior Citizens Help Program. I was calling to set up the delivery of your emergency alert system."
This stranger, Betty, claimed someone had bought Baldridge one of those "I've fallen and I can't get up" type devices, but the story fell short of convincing her. For one, she already has one.
"I later checked with my sons., No they had not bought it," Baldridge said.
Betty even sweetened the deal.
"It says here you're also getting $3,000 in grocery discount coupons," Baldridge said.
It's a nationwide scam hitting Baldridge's High Ridge home. They're often Robo-calls. If Baldridge had taken the bait, someone most likely would have tried to get personal information to commit identity fraud or set up recurring charges on a credit card or bank account.
"Older people are lonely. We like to talk to people and so when someone calls us on the phone sometimes people just talk to them and they talk to long and they become friends and they can't imagine a friend defrauding you," Baldridge said.
I called the number that registered on Baldridge's caller ID. A recording told me that by pressing one, I could be placed on a 'Do Not Call List' but it didn't give me the option to talk to someone.
The Better Business Bureau, who has put out a warning about this scam, says the numbers are untraceable, so it's not clear who's behind the scam. The Federal Trade Commission is investigating. The best advice from the BBB, just hang up.