Home Security Scams, Part 1
Warm temperatures and vacation plans are signs that summer is here! With a new season, it is essential to recognize home security scams brought on by door-to-door salespersons.
Their arguments can be convincing, but it’s very important to exercise caution when considering what security sales agents are selling.
The First and Most Important Step: Ask for identification.
Valid identification includes a company name badge and a DPS Private Security Registration card. Take a moment to look over their credentials and then visit the DPS website to search and verify the individual as a registered alarm salesperson.
Always ask the salesperson for the following information:
• The security contractor’s name
• Workplace street address (They should have a physical location, no PO Boxes)
• Telephone number
• Contractor’s license number
• State that issued the license
• Name under which the license is filed
If the salesperson is reluctant to provide any of this information, consider it a huge, red flag.
Second Step: Know the warning signs associated with home security scams.
While scammers can use very convincing pitches to persuade you buy their home security systems and monitoring services, there are a few tactics you can look out for to avoid the scam.
- They may make a limited-time offer and claim you need to act RIGHT NOW. They may urge you to sign today, and only today, by claiming the equipment is free. Trust us, there are ALWAYS strings attached to this type of offer. If the equipment is free, there will always be an ultra-long term, and ultra-expensive monitoring contract attached.
- They pressure their way into your home and then refuse to leave. It’s not rude to tell a salesperson you’re just not interested. Say no when they’re on the porch. It’s easier than asking them to leave once they’re inside. If you ever feel threatened, call the police.
- They may use scare tactics. If they warn you of an influx of burglaries in your area, that might be a red flag.
- They imply they’re from your security company and are there to “upgrade” your current security system. Once inside your home, they install a new security system and demand you sign a costly monitoring contract.
- They claim your current security company has gone out of business. They take over your account, and you have to buy new equipment and sign new contracts with them.