Everyone wants to feel safe in their home, so when home security salespeople come knocking or call you on the phone,their pitch can be convincing. The Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau urge you to use caution when you consider what security system sales agents have to offer.
Before you let anyone inside your home, ask for identification. When getting a phone call from a salesperson, make them tell you their name, the name of the business they represent, and exactly the goods or services they wish to sell before asking you any questions or making any statements.
Signs of a Security System Scam and what to look out for:
• They may make a time-limited offer, and claim that you need to act now.For example, they may try to get you to sign a contract by telling you that the equipment is "free." More than likely, strings are attached. For example, to get your "free" alarm, you may have to sign a long-term and expensive system monitoring contract.
• They may pressure their way into your home and then refuse to leave. It is not impolite or rude to tell a salesperson you're not interested. It's much easier — and safer — to say "no" on the doorstep than to try to get the salesperson to leave once they're inside. If a salesperson continues to pressure you after you've asked them to leave, call the police.
• They may use scare tactics. For example, they may talk about a rash of supposed burglaries in your neighborhood.
Some door-to-door sales agents target homeowners who have signs on their properties for security systems with other companies. In these cases:
• The sales agents may state or imply that they are from your existing security company and that they're there to "upgrade" or"replace" your current security system. Once inside your home,however, they may install a new security system and have you sign papers that include a costly contract for the monitoring service.
• They may claim your security company has gone out of business, that they've taken over the accounts, and that you have to buy new equipment and sign new contracts. If this happens, call your current monitoring company to confirm.