Spotting and Avoiding Medical Equipment Scams

Image of a hand holding a phone against a wood grain background. There is text that says "Warning Scam Alert" on the screen.

Pride Mobility has long been proud to offer industry-leading durable medical equipment (DME) such as power wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and power lift recliners. Many of our products are classified as “FDA Class II Medical Devices” designed to aid individuals with mobility impairments. They are also coded for billing purposes, which means they may be reimbursable through Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance if the criteria for coverage are met.

Insurance is big business. Medicare alone spends billions of dollars each year on DME, as millions of individuals across the country rely on these products for mobility assistance following an evaluation and prescription from their doctor.

Unfortunately, because of the nature of this business, fraudsters and scammers often attempt to take advantage of exploiting Americans’ health care concerns for personal enrichment. It’s of utmost importance to understand how these scam artists operate and how to spot the signs of a potential scam when navigating the DME market.  

Beyond that, these tips and tricks are handy under any circumstances, as it’s important to identify fraud in general when looking for products and services that best meet your needs.

Too Good to Be True

This is one of the wisest and oldest maxims in the book: if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. If you’re scrolling online and you come across an advertisement for a mobility device, be sure to check the “deal”. Pride only makes products available through authorized dealers who abide by the parameters set forth to ensure consumers are allowed to have a genuine shopping experience that focus on obtaining the right product to meet their needs.

“You can notice this if you go online or shop locally with our dealers,” said Kris Yonushka, Manager, E-Commerce, Strategic Sales and Consumer Support. “They are required to maintain” standards that help you choose the outlet from which you buy – whether from a local, regional, national, or online provider – without the price pressure that fails to take into account the critical product and service alternatives offered by these different outlets.

We’re proud to partner with our authorized dealers, who act as our trusted partners in assisting individuals with their medical needs. That means, if you’re researching mobility products online and notice a Pride product listed for a suspiciously low amount, like $100, it’s too good to be true, likely a scam. And it is best to avoid clicking any links with unrealistic price listings.

For instance, WXIA in Atlanta recently profiled an individual with mobility needs who raised questions upon seeing a scooter listed for $39. This story is a great example of the kind of fraud that you may encounter online.

Don’t Give Away Personal Information

Sometimes, fraudsters will attempt to extract personal or financial information, posing as someone that represents Pride Mobility. This is a major red flag and a clear warning sign that a scam is in progress.

“You want to be wary of anyone that calls and tries to get this type of information from you,” said Yonushka. “We would never ask for any protected health or financial information. We do not sell directly to the consumer, so [be mindful of] anyone who may pretend or claim to be from our organization, because we would not do that.”

As a general rule of thumb, never give out any personal information to someone you don’t know, whether solicited online or over the phone.

Can the Seller Be Trusted?

We mentioned Pride’s vast network of authorized dealers. We’ll discuss them further in a moment, but first, let’s say you come across an advertisement for a mobility device from a company that you’re not sure is reputable. What are some of the signs that could indicate that the offer is a scam?  

  • Lack of Online Reviews: There’s not much information available online about the business, such as a lack of public reviews. An abundance of poor reviews can also be an obvious sign that you’re not dealing with a reputable operation.
  • Vague Details: The seller is light on details regarding the transaction, such as payment structure or the validity of the equipment.
  • No Warranty: There’s no guarantee or official warranty that protects you in case something happens to the product.

  There are several other warning signs that a seller should not be trusted, but ultimately, it’s up to you to conduct enough research to make sure you’re dealing with a reputable seller.

Go Through our Trusted Dealers

As you shop around, the safest way to know you’re getting the right deal on a power wheelchair, mobility scooter, or power lift recliner is to visit our website and use our “Find a Dealer” tool.

“We have two channels in which [consumers] can utilize that,” Yonushka said. “They can enter their zip code, and it will give a listing [of brick-and-mortar locations] where they can buy products. The listings will provide, an address, phone number, and some might give links to their website.”

The second channel, as Yonushka points out, gives consumers the option to buy online. There, users can access our trusted online partners.   By utilizing the Pride Mobility website directly, you can be sure that you’ll be seeing legitimate offers from real places.  

Use Common Sense!

Unfortunately, as long as business exists, there will be scammers attempting to take advantage of the system. And this goes well beyond the mobility device market. At the end of the day, the best way to avoid scamming activity is to use common sense. Remember, when seeking out a mobility device…  

  • If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Never give away your personal information.
  • Go through our trusted dealers.

  As a parting thought, Yonushka offers simple advice to those who might be wondering if they’re being scammed: “You have to do your due diligence. Be vigilant. Double check everything.”

Published by Pride Mobility

Welcome to Pride Mobility! We are a leading manufacturer of mobility products, including power chairs, scooters, lift chairs, and more. Our goal is to help people with mobility challenges live their best lives by providing innovative, high-quality, and reliable products that enhance their independence and comfort. Our company was founded in 1986 with a mission to improve the quality of life for people with mobility limitations. Since then, we have grown to become a global leader in the industry, with a wide range of products designed to meet the unique needs of individuals with varying levels of mobility. At Pride Mobility, we are committed to delivering exceptional customer service and support. Our team of knowledgeable and experienced professionals is dedicated to helping our customers find the right products to meet their specific needs, and we are always here to answer any questions or concerns. We take pride in our products and stand behind them with a comprehensive warranty and service program. Whether you are looking for a power chair to help you navigate your home or a scooter to explore the outdoors, you can trust Pride Mobility to provide the quality, comfort, and reliability you deserve. Thank you for choosing Pride Mobility as your partner in mobility. We look forward to helping you live your best life!

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