The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

January 17, 2014

Shut down medical alert calls

(Continued)

What many folks don’t realize is if you receive telemarketing calls, you can make a complaint on them to the registry. Even if your phone is not registered, you can make a complaint if you receive a recorded telemarketing call, or a robo-call. To make a complaint, go online to www.donotcall.gov or call (888) 382-1222. The FTC takes these calls seriously, and uses the information it gathers through these complaints to its database to pursue telemarketers like the medical alert device robo-calls.

Bad connection on Social Security phone

The Clinton office of the Social Security Administration closed more than a year ago. But their old phone number caused trouble for at least one Clinton County resident.

The Delmar resident and his bank, Clinton National Bank, each informed me the resident wanted to call Social Security. He looked for the phone number in the 2013 edition of the Hanson Mississippi Valley Regional Directory, and found it, (877) 445-0540. He called the number, and asked the person answering if he reached Social Security.

The call-taker assured him he did reach Social Security, but they needed to ask him some questions. This call-taker ended up convincing the Delmar resident to sign up for a buyer’s club offering discount shopping services, in exchange for a credit card payment. The call-taker said he planned to transfer the caller to Social Security as soon as they completed the transaction. Well, they finished the transaction, but never transferred the caller.

The Delmar resident reviewed his bank statement later and saw the charge for this buyer’s club higher than quoted. He canceled his participation and closed his bank account, and received a refund of his payments.

I checked the same phone book. Sure enough, the old number and address still appeared for the Social Security Office in Clinton. I called the number listed, but never got an answer. It sounds like some shady telemarketer got hold of this old number, put it in their name, and posed as Social Security workers to sell memberships in this club.

If you went through the same problem with the old Social Security Office number, let me know. I can be reached at Seniors vs. Crime at the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, 242-9211, ext. 4433.

Randy Meier is the director of Seniors vs. Crime, which operates in conjunction with the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office.

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Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

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