Victims say these con artists are posing as door-to-door salespeople or representatives of existing alarm companies. The scammers convince people to pay for “upgrades” to their services.
These often expensive upgrades are actually simply a transfer of an account to the scammer’s company and results in huge undisclosed fees.
If you are suspicious that someone may be attempting to scam you, calmly collect their information and contact your local law enforcement office as soon as possible.
How to Spot a Scam Artist
Not all door-to-door salespeople are scammers and it’s important that you can tell the difference between a legitimate representative of your alarm company and a phony.
Here is how you can tell the difference:
- A legitimate company will call you for an appointment, not walk door-to-door.
- Ask For A License – All alarm company employees are required by law to have an Alarm Company Employee (ACE) license. This means that they have undergone a complete Department of Justice background check, fingerprint scan, and are required to follow a strict set of operating procedures. If you are approached by someone that does not have their license with them, it’s a good bet that they are a scammer.
- Research Their Company – If you are buying a new system or transferring your alarm monitoring, research the company the salesperson works for before buying anything. Check out their website and make sure that they are legitimate. Never be pressured into buying an alarm system or monitoring without first doing the proper research.
- Examine The Salesperson – Are they wearing the uniform from the company they claim to work for? Do they claim to be from Honeywell or GE (alarm manufacturers) instead of the actual company you have security services with? If you have any reason to doubt their credentials, contact your security company directly and ask about the person you talked to.
How to Protect Yourself
We see similar things with door-to-door magazine scams. In both cases, don’t let a suspicious salesperson into your home. A con artist will try their best to gain entry into your home. Don’t fall for any tricks, flattery or deceptions.
This is especially important during any holidays. People tend to put their guard down during holidays such as Christmas, the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving.
Senior Magazine Online has a number of good tips for dealing with phony door-to-door salespeople, and these tips aren’t just for senior citizens.
- Never pay for services in cash
- Never make checks out to a person. It should be to a company
- Most reputable businesses can bill you later in the mail
- Don’t be pressured into some “fantastic” deal
For other types of door-to-door scams read How to Identify Door to Door Scams. You’ll learn about other types of scams con artists attempt on unsuspecting homeowners.
Don’t risk getting scammed. Immediately report any suspicious contact with door-to-door alarm salespeople to police and help protect your neighbors from these criminals.