Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Personal Voice and other Medication Adherence "Scams"

I subscribe to a number of Google Alerts regarding medication non/ adherence /compliance. For the most part they are pretty spot on regarding articles with my chosen keywords, new research, blog posts etc... At least once a day is a link to a faux blog that simply lists keywords with advertising and links to other spam sites.

Once such site came up today, but also revealed some useful information - ie. NCPIE is promoting October as Talk About Prescriptions Month (more on this in another post) but they have a broken link to the site.

The text isn't well written, but they do promote the importance of medication adherence and the role of the caregiver. It mentions a service called Personal Voice with a link to the website Family Focus Working Caregivers that has broken links and some healthcare information. Overall a horribly designed site, but offers the Personal Voice service which will call your loved ones for you in case you do not have the time to make sure they are taking their medications.

I called the number provided to get an information package. The voicemail thanked me for calling and asked me to dial the extension I wanted. I dialed "0" and got a voicemail that simply stated "Personal Voice". I did a Google Search for "Personal Voice Inc." and here is what I got:

At first I thought it was just a problem with them managing their online reputation - since the first four results are negative. I then read the posts and they all describe the service as a scam. They deduct money from one's checking account monthly, yet do not provide a service. They are tied to another company which is a debit-for-credit-card scam as well.

This just makes me mad. A company using medication non-adherence rates to scare caregivers into signing up for a service that is simply a scam to make money. Luckily they are now being investigated by the FBI. I have encountered a number of email phishing scams this year, and other online attempts to get information, but this is the first I have seen involving medication non-adherence.

Caregivers out there, be careful with the services you sign up for. Make sure they are legitimate and will provide a beneficial service for your loved ones. Check with the better business bureau and do a Google Search to check the company's reputation.

I have not included any links from this post on purpose.

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