In their June Realite Newsletter, Walton EMC warns us of a scam that is being perpetuated against homeowners and targeted most specifically at seniors.
The con goes like this: The salesperson sees a security system sign in your yard and knocks on your door. They look legitimate, even displaying a badge with their company's name.
The Sales Pitch: Their company is choosing three to four homes in your neighborhood for their new wireless security system. "All you have to do is sign up, display their sign in your yard and they'll do the rest." The new system will do SO MUCH more than your old system ... which is basically obsolete ... leaving you basically with no protection! GASP!
"Of course, this is totally untrue," says Vince Raia of EMC Security. "It's done to scare people who don't know better and especially targets seniors who may have no one else to turn to for advice."
On the Federal Trade Commission website, the warning states that in some cases, the salespeople use high-pressure or deceptive sales tactics to get potential customers to buy expensive, and sometimes substandard, systems or equipment they don't need.
The FTC Warns of These Signs of a Potential Scam:
- The sales person may make a time-limited offer, and claim that you need to act now. For example, they may try to get you to sign a contract by telling you that the equipment is "free."
- They may pressure their way into your home and then refuse to leave. It is not impolite or rude to tell a salesperson you're not interested. But it's much easier — and safer — to say "no" on the doorstep than to try to get the salesperson to leave once they're inside. If a salesperson continues to pressure you after you've asked them to leave, call the police.
- They may use scare tactics. For example, they may talk about a rash of supposed burglaries in your neighborhood.
Raia offers these tips for anyone who shows up on your doorstep:
- Be aware that if you have a security company sign displayed, you could be a target for this scam.
- If you don't recognize the person, don't open the door. A legitimate company will leave a brochure or business card.
- Check with your current security company first.
- If your security system or monitoring is changing, you'll hear from your current provider, not someone who randomly knocks on your door.
- If you experience this type of tactic, try to get the salesperson's name and the company they represent. Then call the police.