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Ulster County senior residents targeted in phone phishing scam, DA says

Dishonest telemarketers have been pitching personal medical alarm systems to senior citizens in the Ulster County area in an effort to glean private financial information, and people should take steps to protect themselves, officials warned.

The exact details of the scam vary, Ulster County District Attorney D. Holley Carnright said in a statement. The "business" being pitched goes by a variety of names, such as Senior Emergency Care, Senior Safety Alert, Senior Safe Alert and American Senior Benefits Program, officials said.

Typically, the calls appear to be coming from an area code in regions surrounding Ulster, such as the 315 code that serves Syracuse, Utica and the western Adirondacks, but it's possible those numbers are being faked, officials said.

These calls are "phishing" scams that impersonate real businesses and seek credit card numbers and other personal information, officials said.

Legitimate firms selling personal medical alarms don't solicit through telemarketers, Carnright said. "Often these firms are recommended by your doctor, hospital or other caregiver," he said. "Be sure to confirm with your care provider that you are dealing with a legitimate firm before providing them any personal financial information."

People registered with the national Do Not Call Registry can report these calls to 1-888-382-1222. The district attorney's Division of Consumer Affairs can be reached at 845-340-3260. That office was closed Tuesday, but will reopen Wednesday, officials added.

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