May 05, 2017
As spring brings flowers and some of the best things back to life, it also brings out some of the worst. Door-to-door security sales scams are back. It disheartens us to bring you this news, but as you trust us to protect you, it’s our job to lay all of the cards on the table!
Read this week’s blog to learn what to look for and how to protect yourself and your family from this seasonal version of uninvited danger. As you educate yourself, keep this in mind that Per Mar is here for you year-round and we’ll never send a representative, regardless of title, to your home without first asking you.
The Tactics & Red Flags
The most common targets are homes with security signs. Security system scam artists will take note of the sign in your yard and will claim to be from the advertised company.
This is the easiest way for them to get you to open the door, and possibly get inside your home. But, as you can see in the list below, you are not off the hook if you don’t have a home security system in place with a visible sign. Criminals are as determined as any. They will often use high-pressure scare tactics and claim:
- Your security system is in need of repair (e.g. fixing a recalled part)
- To be upgrading your unit
- Your current provider is going out of business
- You’ve won a free security system
- They have a limited time offer (e.g. free equipment if you sign today)
- Your neighbor has installed one of their systems, and they are offering a “neighborhood special”
Sometimes, you will see a van or large vehicle with multiple “salespeople” dispersing. For them, it’s a numbers game; they are doing a neighborhood scan to see who’ll bite.
Pro Tip: It’s not a guarantee, but putting up a “no soliciting” sign might deter some of these unwanted visitors.
The reality is, there are persuasive people out there and one of them may end up at your door. We caution unsuspecting homeowners from letting peddlers in, but should you find one of these unexpected guests into your home, please proceed with caution! Once inside, security system scam artists are most likely to:
- Trade out your system for another, non-working system (taking the working system with them)
- Install a (working) system from an unscrupulous security company and get you to sign an expensive contract unknowingly
- Burglarize your home
Deceptive sales at its worst! We want to iterate that a legitimate security company will never send anyone to your home unannounced. Either ask for ID or refuse to answer the door if you don’t recognize the visitor!
Pro Tip: You have three days to get out of a signed contract or purchase thanks to the FTC’s Cooling Off Rule.
What To Do Instead
When the scam artist wins, that means the homeowner loses. Many find themselves locked in to two security agreements - and two bills - and probably out a few hundred dollars for new equipment that wasn’t needed.
A reputable alarm company will always notify you via their normal means of communication when major - and even minor - changes occur. And running specials is common, but hearing this news from a stranger at your front door should send your red flag up! Kindly decline and, if you are curious, call your provider to ask whether anything has changed or if there are any specials about which you should know.
Regardless of whether you already have a home security systems installed, here are a few other tips for playing it safe!
- Check companies out on www.bbb.org
- Read everything before signing anything
- Seek answers to your questions
- Verify the salesperson’s name with your current provider (if you have one)
Pro Tip: Contact your provider (or go online) to ensure all of your notifications are set exactly where you want them!
We hope we have educated you to the point of knowing what to look out for this spring and summer when security system sales scams are most prevalent. We take our job of keeping you Per Mar protected very seriously, and, you can count on us year-round for that protection.