Door-To-Door Security Fraud Safety Tips

Door-To-Door Security Fraud Safety Tips

As the seasons change and the weather starts to get warmer, consumers need to beware of “door-knockers”—companies selling home alarm systems door-to-door each summer. Alarm and security companies hire traveling sales agents to go door-to-door to residencies to talk to homeowners about their products and services.

The Better Business Bureau often warns against these sellers due to complaints for their questionable and aggressive sales tactics, deceptive claims, and attempt to steal clients and customers away from other alarm companies with false information. The salespeople often use delusive and misleading tactics to get hopeful customers to purchase sub-par, overly expensive security equipment that they may not truly have a need for.

Although these home security systems are usually pricey, the promise of safety and protection for you and your family is sometimes enough to make many residents give in to these sales pitches.

The Federal Trade Commission, the government agency dedicated to consumer protection, urges you to use caution when dealing with security system sales agents.

Tips

  • According to the FTC, you should be extremely knowledgeable of your state laws. Many states require door-to-door salespeople to tell you their name, the name of the business they represent, and the items or services they wish to sell before making any statements. Other states require salespeople to show you their “pocket card” license to identify themselves.
  • Remember: You do not have to let them into your home.
  • Ask for—and closely inspect—their credentials and identification.
  • Ask for proof of a city-provided neighborhood solicitation permit.
  • Ask where the company is based.
  • Beware of claims that your security company has gone out of business or that they are with the new company that has taken over the accounts of your current security company and that you have to buy new equipment and sign new contracts. If you hear this, call your current monitoring company to confirm. Any reputable alarm company would notify you of a huge change like this by mail or telephone.
  • Do not be misled by false police reports.
  • Do not be pressured into signing a contract—remember your FTC “right to cancel” a contract within 72 hours if it is signed at your home
  • Check with the BBB for company information and reviews
  • Invest in a wireless doorbell intercom so that you can speak with salesmen without opening your door

Don’t Be Naïve, Do Your Research

Read the entire FTC warning regarding home alarm sales scams. Educate yourself to find a reputable home security systems provider so that you can better protect yourself and your family.

Check out the company by researching online. Read about other people’s experiences to find helpful home alarm system reviews. Also, contact your state Attorney General (www.naag.org), local consumer protection agency (www.consumeraction.gov), and the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) to see if any complaints are on file.

Remember: you can always cancel the deal thanks to the FTC’s Cooling-Off Rule. This law gives you 3 business days to cancel any deal if you sign the contract in your home or at a location that is not the seller’s permanent place of business. You have a right to change your mind, even if the equipment has already been installed.

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