It’s hard enough for door knocking alarm salespeople to get a break these days: the public is wising up to their often-aggressive tactics, and more jurisdictions are clamping down on the fraudulent and deceptive practices that some companies use to get new customers. But homeowners have more to worry about than being suckered into an overpriced service agreement by a fast talking, clean cut kid. There are also bad guys out there pretending to be alarm sales reps, and they’re not just making phone calls – they’re knocking on doors, too. Here’s a warning from Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The Better Business Bureau is warning about a scam involving security systems. A concerned consumer reported having received a couple of suspicious calls from individuals claiming to be with ADT. The person calling asked several questions that made his internal radar go off. The questions included:
1) Do you have a security system?
2) Do you have animals in the house?
3) What times are you at home and at work?
“The consumer thought twice about answering these questions, but not everyone would,” said Michael Coil, President/CEO of BBB serving Northern Indiana. “He suspected the caller might be trying to get him to divulge information, in order to rob him at a time when he would not be at home.” BBB contacted ADT and was told their representatives would not be asking such questions. The company would only call to set up an appointment for a time to meet with the homeowner.
Shannon Ferrai says thieves, posing as ADT security sales reps, are breaking into homes in broad daylight in and around Copperfield Drive in Montgomery. “My side window had been busted in and they left through the side door. They’re knocking on doors, they look suspicious. They don’t look like they are really affiliated with ADT,” Ferrai said.
Ferrai says both of her next door neighbors were not so lucky. “The gentleman beside me had $17,000 worth of property stolen and so did the neighbor to the right of me,” Ferrai said.
And Finally, This One from North Carolina
Lincoln County sheriff’s investigators are warning the public of a man posing as an ADT Security worker to gain access to homes and valuables. On Wednesday, an eastern Lincoln County woman told the sheriff’s office that a man who identified himself as an ADT Security worker entered her home on Fay Jones Road, after telling the woman he needed to inventory items inside, sheriff’s Detective Mark Stamey said. When the woman allowed the man in, he asked questions about where jewelry, guns and other valuables were kept, Stamey said. The man also asked whether the home was in foreclosure.
The woman contacted ADT Security and was told no employees, whether independent dealer or not, should be walking up to homes requesting entry and asking such questions. ADT also couldn’t identify anyone with the name of “Larry” working in the Denver, N.C., area on Wednesday, Stamey said. Sheriff’s Detective Lt. Tim Johnson urged residents not to open their doors for unsolicited services. Dial 911 instead, he said.
How the Scams Work
I’ve read a number of these reports. It can start with a valid security sign posted in your yard. This gives would-be robbers the incentive to knock on your door. The person introduces himself, and then gives a phony excuse about checking your system, often while asking very prying questions – as in the story above. Door-to-door scams involving actual thieves are growing fast.
As our customers know very well, FrontPoint has never sold door-to-door – and we are the most transparent (and most highly regarded) alarm company you can find. On-line shoppers quickly learn why we’re the nationwide leader in interactive, wireless home security: our long list of five-star reviews spells out very clearly what makes us the #1 ranked alarm company in the US. Being on top means we have to prove ourselves in every aspect of our business – with systems that are safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat. And best of all, you never have to wonder if that shady person at your door is from FrontPoint – he’s not. Don’t let him in, and when in doubt, call the police immediately.