As temperatures rise, so do door-to-door home security scams. Some are perpetuated nearly every summer, and we’ve warned of them in the past. However, every year, criminals create new ways to take your money. Knowing what to look for is the best way to avoid getting caught up in their schemes.
Here are a few examples of techniques used by unethical or fake security sales representatives:
- Proclaim that your current security company sent them to upgrade your account. They then provide a fraudulent contract for you to sign.
- Imply there’s a rise in neighborhood criminal activity and insist that your family’s safety is in jeopardy.
- Offer a contract where you’ll receive additional features for free if you sign up immediately.
- Insist that your existing company is no longer in business and their company is acquiring all contracts. Not only do you have to sign a new contract, but you have to buy all new equipment.
One thing all these scams have in common is that you aren’t given time to read the contract. The contract is often expensive and locks you into a long-term commitment.
For your protection, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urges you to ask potential contractors for the following information:
- Contractor’s name.
- Street address (no P.O. Box).
- Telephone number.
- Contractor’s license number.
- State that issued the license.
- Name under which the license is filed.
Also, ask if the company is a member of the Electronic Security Association (ESA). This association is made up of security companies that must adhere to strict conduct codes. The affiliated companies must also be committed to quality services and products. Companies that violate the Code are subject to membership termination.
Alarm.org, which is powered by the ESA, provides a sample of its codes and standards on its Website. ESA Member Company Sales Representatives must:
- Carry photo identification and clearly state who they work for when making sales calls.
- Be properly licensed and registered in compliance with all applicable laws, ordinances and regulations.
- Immediately discontinue a sales presentation and leave the premises if a potential customer asks them to leave.
- Never make any false statements about competing organizations.
In addition, Alarm.org states that members are required to meet or exceed the following standards when contracting with customers:
- Members shall use written materials that clearly and conspicuously disclose all material terms and conditions of the offer before obtaining a customer’s consent.
- Prior to the sale of any product or service, sales representatives must disclose all termination fees and must honor all refunds in accordance with their company’s policies.
Atronic Alarms, Inc. never sends someone out to your property without contacting you first, either by phone or email. If you have any questions about your security system, please call us at 913.362.0000.
Atronic Alarms, Inc. is proud to be a member of and very active in the Kansas and Missouri chapters of the ESA. We are also a member in good standing with the Kansas City Better Business Bureau.