Everyone wants to keep their home and family safe from intruders, theft & fire, unfortunately there are plenty of shady sales reps willing to take advantage of homeowners.
As with most things in life, if a home security deal sounds unrealistically good, you need to be suspicious. Here are a ways you can protect yourself against home security scams
If a door-to-door sales rep wears a GE or Honeywell logo on his or her uniform, be very suspicious. Scam victims have reported door-to-door sellers wearing these logos. Neither of these companies sell home security systems directly to consumers, they are security equipment manufactures and they do not allow people not associated with them to wear their logos.
Be suspicious if a company offers to install a system without assessing your particular security needs first. In order to function properly, home security systems need to be customized to your home’s specific layout. Companies offering to do this may end up only putting sensors on doors and windows, when in fact you need a mix of sensors located to suit your home’s design & security needs.
Don’t sign a contract if a representative tells you that you have 30 days to terminate the contract. The “cooling off” period specified by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is actually only three days, so there is a good chance the rep may be trying to appear generous by offering a 30-day grace period.
Watch out for reps who tell you that your security company is closing or is merging with their company, this is the most common home security scam. A sales rep knocks on the door telling people that their security company is going out of business or merging and that they should switch over to the scammer’s company. They will often say that for any inconvieniece they will upgrade their existing security system or provide a new system for Free. What ends up happing is the homeowner is now under 2 security contracts. When homeowners find out that they’ve been scammed they try to cancel the new fraudulant contract and the new company drags their feet or say that the homeowner should have read the agreement or call their existing company to verify if the claims were true. This can be a long & costly process to resolve.
If you already have a home security system and someone claiming to be with your home security company shows up unannounced at your door, be very suspicious. Any legitimate home security company will not send reps to homes unannounced. If you don’t have a home security system, do you really think you should make such an important decision after being put on the spot by a stranger?
Should someone come to your door offering a “one time only” deal on a home security system, you should see it as a red flag. There are plenty of reputable and legitimate home security companies, and they stay away from practices like this. Legitimate monitored home security companies may run installation specials, but they’re generally offered through a website, and not by someone showing up at your house pressuring you into buying.