Protecting Your Family And The Elderly From Summertime Security Scams
In Category: Security Tips
It’s summertime. Instead of hot dogs and bathing suits, summertime means door to door security scammers are targeting you and your elderly parents. In our 30+ years of experience in the alarm business in the San Antonio area, here are a list of the top 10 way door to door security salesmen will try to scam you and the elderly.
A recent FTC report odes give some warnings to take heed of when dealing with door to door security systems salesmen. Why the elderly? Scams disproportionately effect the elderly since they are frequently home when the scammers come calling.
10. “I represent ABC company and happened to be in the neighborhood doing marketing…”
Technically, this is true. But what are they not telling you? Are they fully licensed, bonded, and accredited in the state of Texas? Ask them for their “pocket card” issued by the state. If they are indeed licensed, they are required to carry the state issued id. Sadly, a fair number of these salesmen are literally vagabonds that go from city to city and state to state selling security systems, preying on the unsuspecting. Often enough, they will even wear the shirt of a big name or legitimate security company to lull you into a false sense of security.
9. “I was visiting a neighbor two doors down, Mrs. Jones, and she suggested you might want to feel safer”
Generally, a sales rep will get the name of one neighbor and suddenly that person recommended them to everyone. They probably didn’t and the sales rep is betting on that like in most modern societies people don’t know their neighbors all that well.
8. “I was just visiting a few of your neighbors since there have been rash of repeated (insert violent crimes here).”
Many companies use scare tactics to get you to buy their systems. Actually, the scare tactic is usually used to either get in the door or to set up the idea that you need a security system. Sadly, scare tactics work well so they are used a lot to exploit the consumer.
7. “As a special offer today, you know since I sold units to your neighbors this morning, I’ll give you all the equipment for free and install it free if you allow us to put our sign out in the yard.”
So when was the last time you received something for free, especially something so expensive? There are always some hidden costs or contingencies when something is given away free. Just make sure to read the contract.
6. “So tell me about your grandkids…”
When you ask a question about something important or you are attempting to read the contract details (see #7), they start asking you questions about your grandkids or choosing an easy to remember password. Or, they don’t even call it a contract but a “service agreement” or “terms of agreement” that has a lot of very non-contract looking questions with some really gotcha verbiage at the bottom.
This is only part 1 of our 2 part series. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about avoid summer time security salesman scams, give Security One a call at 210-341-8900