They’re not peddling vacuum cleaners or encyclopedias anymore, but door-to-door salespeople do still exist.
In fact, during the summer months, some home security companies hire traveling sales agents to go door-to-door, making unsolicited “cold calls” on homeowners, trying to convince them that they need home security systems.
Most of these calls are legitimate, and the salesperson ends up providing the homeowners exactly what they need when it comes to home security.
Unfortunately, there are also many scam artists out there, who prey on the insecurities and fears of homeowners, particularly young families and the elderly.
But if you know how to spot home security scams, you can protect yourself, your family, and your home.
Here’s what to watch out for.
Deceptive Sales Tactics
One of the key indicators that you’re dealing with a potential security system scam is the way the final offer is presented. Even a part-time door-to-door salesmen working on commission won’t expect you to make a decision immediately, especially about a big purchase or a decision that’s going to require a commitment.
If the salesperson is pushing you to make a decision immediately — saying things like, “this sale is only good for a day,” or, “you have to make a decision before I leave” — you might be dealing with a scam. A legitimate salesperson will be willing to come back at a later date of your choosing, and they’ll have no issues giving you their name, phone number, company website, and/or business card. If they won’t offer you time to do your research, compare prices, and discuss your decision with other members of your family, chances are you aren’t dealing with a legitimate security company.
When You Already Have a Security System
If you already have a home security system, it’s probably pretty easy to tell what company provides your current system. You might have stickers displayed on your doors or windows, a sign in your yard, or equipment in or outside the home. All of these are targets for home security scams.
In these cases, a scammer will claim to work for your existing security company, and insist that they’re visiting your home to help take care of your account and continue your service. Or, they’ll claim that the company is going out of business, and they need to replace your equipment with the new company’s equipment.
Other scammers will come into your home, look at your existing equipment, and suggest that it’s not adequate to protect against the latest threats against your home and property. They’ll talk about all of the reasons you need to upgrade your system, then offer you a “bargain” for that upgrade.
No matter what they do or say to get you to sign those papers, all you’ll end up with is another bill, and — if you actually let them replace your equipment — lower quality coverage and protection.
First things first, if you’re in the market for a home security system, do your research online first! As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to avoid making impulse purchases from any unsolicited door-to-door sales call. But, if you do have a legitimate sales call and you’re interested in it, don’t sign on the dotted line right there on the spot, take your time and make the right decision.
A legitimate home security company will work with you to ensure that you have the coverage you want and the protection you need. The highest-quality companies know that their products and services sell themselves, and they’ll give you the time you need to come to that conclusion on your own. Take some time to think about the decision and make sure you’ve made the best choice available.
If you already subscribe to a legitimate home security company, they aren’t going to show up at your door without warning. They’ll call you ahead of time, and will be completely open and transparent. You’ll be more likely to receive a notice through the mail that your security company is closing down than you are to have someone come straight to your door with the news. If someone shows up at your door claiming to be from your security company, check their credentials and ask for definitive proof of who they are and who they work for.
At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 30 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.