Having a home security system in place gives extra relief for house owners. However, some companies tries to exploit these security concerns by forcing us to take a substandard product, all they want from us is our money. In every sense, home security scammers and burglars are no different.
The nation’s consumer protection agency, FTC (Federal Trade Commission) urges consumers to use some caution before going with any security system brought by door to door sales representatives.
If you want to keep your home safe then you have to be really vigilant. See the documents shown by sales representatives are convincing or not; if everything is fine then do business with them.
Home security companies mainly target spring and summer season. For this purpose, security companies used to hire travelling sales agents. They will go door to door to sell products.
Some of the tactics used by home security sales people are so deceptive. And they put extra pressure on consumers to go with something expensive and substandard which by no way fit their needs.
What you need to do before letting anyone in, is confirm their identity.
In some states there is a fixed law, where sales people have to mention their name to the customer, business name they represent and also the products that they are wishing to sell. They have to tell this, before you ask anything. In other states, they have to show the customer photo ID proof or license. Check these documents thoroughly by taking couple of minutes.
How home security scammers target you?
Scammers use different approaches; for which they often look at the signs of existing installations. Old designs have the original installation date, which will be printed on the back side. Let’s look at some of the common approaches.
Fraudsters approach by pretending as remote access technician from your home security system company. They may contact you by phone to tell you; company computer is showing some flaws in your home security system. And very soon they will be sending someone to rectify the issues. But their motive is different, they want you to let them in. The purpose is to tamper with security alarm, so that they can plan another day to burglarize your things.
Door to door sales agents will try to convince you that they are from the existing security firm. And their proposals may be upgrading or replacing the current system. The idea is simple; they want to pressurize you to sign a contract for new monitoring system; at inflated amount and longer term. People who have signed the deal often finds the contract cannot be broken without paying huge penalties.
The other way of screwing consumers is by claiming that; your existing system installer has stopped doing business; the contract was taken over by them. And the goal of these persons are to convince that you have to sign a new contract. Obviously, the contract will be for a higher price and longer term.
In some cases agents approach you directly and even takes deposit for getting new security system. And you will never hear from them again.
Few things to keep in mind:
Home security system companies sending a repairman to your door is weird, that too unannounced; Legitimate companies won’t do that. The same way, your existing home security company going out of business. If that really happens then you will be notified with an email; someone showing up to say this is absolutely illogical.
How to protect yourself from home security scammers?
Ask references: If a salesperson shows up on your door with home security system, ask the salesperson for their previous customers in your locality. You can check those addresses to confirm whether they are genuine. You can even contact them for more information, ask them about the service and equipment.
Do a detailed background check: You can demand more information like the contractor’s license number, to which state they are registered. Check this carefully before preparing your mind.
Get everything in writing: Get all the estimates of home security service and equipment in writing; that includes who is going to install it, the cost, maintenance policies, etc.
Read the contract carefully: Check the contract have covered all the points that you’ve agreed. Don’t miss any fine print for commitments like the contract term, monitoring fees, the right of cancelling the deal.
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