Hot on the heels of my post about ADT and their Authorized Dealer program (see link here), a rather bizarre news item came over the wire – and this one is a new twist for me, even after decades in the security business. The story reports that potential burglars are casing neighborhoods outside of Atlanta – dressed in ADT shirts! They are asking inappropriate questions about the neighborhood, such as who is likely to be home when, and who has a dog, etc. – the type of information that a door-knocking sales person might want to know, but that a burglar planning a break-in would definitely want to have in his back pocket – along with his $5 wire cutters to sever the phone line. Here is a link to the story.
As you may imagine, it did not take long for suspicious homeowners to call the authorities to report the activity. These reports made the 11 o’clock news, so when the same thing happened again in a nearby town, the residents were all over it. And as you may also guess, ADT was quick to respond to the issue. Seems there were no ADT reps in those neighborhoods on the reported days. Also, ADT reps carry ID badges, to make it easier for homeowners to tell the good guys from potential bad guys. Georgia also happens to be a strict alarm licensing state. Remember that there may be state and/or local requirements for alarm company employees to carry identification where you live (click here to read my post on alarm company licensing).
Is it possible that these men were working for an ADT Authorized Dealer, and that’s why ADT had no record of its employees in the affected neighborhoods? Sure. And is it possible that these men were actually on the level, simply asking questions that would help them find people at home, and not get bitten in the process? Also possible. But the odds are slim, and now the word is out.
What should you do?
I posted previously on pushy door-to-door alarm systems sales personnel who are giving a bad reputation to the alarm industry (see link here), and my advice still holds. Rule #1: always ask for a company ID. It’s imperative that you know that the rep at your door works for a bona fide alarm company, and with a company ID you can confirm that the company and its sales and technical personnel are licensed, and reputable. By taking this important step, you are helping to protect yourself and your neighbors.
Since FrontPoint provides interactive, 100% wireless security systems that are easily installed by the home or business owner, we are fortunate in having no personnel in the field – either sales or technical. They are just not necessary with our fully programmed and remotely supported GE Security systems. It allows us to provide next-generation peace of mind across the entire US and Canada – and we never have to worry about a burglar stealing the shirt off our back.