Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Security Sales Scams - Who's Knocking?

It's time to start being on the lookout for seasonal salesmen, in particular those going door-to-door attempting to sell alarm systems for your home.

These salesmen often utilize dishonest or shady methods, and, most importantly, are unauthorized to sell security systems. In fact, many of these seasonal companies are unlicensed or are temporarily employing unlicensed alarm salesmen and installers.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) calls these "Security System Scams"  and warns:
"During the spring and summer months, home security or alarm companies hire traveling sales agents to go door-to-door, making unsolicited "cold calls" on homeowners. 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."
In Louisiana, alarm companies and their employees are licensed and regulated through the Office of State Fire Marshal's Licensing Section. If someone knocks on your door wanting to sell you an alarm system, always ask to see their credentials. If they do not have a valid license issued through the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office (SFM), they are not licensed or authorized to sell alarm systems. This means they haven't been required to pass a criminal background check.

Unfortunately, unsuspecting Louisiana residents are hit with these scams every year. Already this year, residents in Covington and Tallulah have dealt with these door-to-door salesmen. In light of this, Louisiana State Fire Marshal, Butch Browning, recently sent out a warning through local news outlets concerning these scams. As Fire Marshal Browning says:
"An extremely important part of the licensing process includes criminal background checks on those who sell and install these systems as well as requiring these individuals to have the proper training to ensure competency … It's all about protecting the lives and property of our citizens and ensuring that convicted felons are not in homes and businesses.  Everyone we license will have a photo identification card issued by my office.  Just ask to see it to ensure they are licensed."
Always remember that the Fire Marshal's office licenses all alarm companies and their employees in Louisiana. If a person is not licensed and cannot show you proof of a license from the SFM, do not do business with them.

Alarm Center wants to keep our customers and neighbors safe by telling them what to look out for when a security salesman knocks on their door. These are actual tactics that our customers have observed and reported to us as being employed by these so-called "sales representatives":
  • They will often say that they work for a security system manufacturer.
  • They may state that they work for Alarm Center Security and knock on your door with no appointment.
  • They may say they are there to "upgrade" your existing system.
  • They may say they are only offering a certain number of "free" systems in your neighborhood.
  • They may misrepresent that ACS is "going out of business".
You should always exercise caution when entrusting your family's security. ACS reminds not only our customers, but everyone, to ensure they are always dealing with a reputable alarm professional by taking the following steps:
  • Ask for an ID badge, business card or literature with their company name.
  • Ask for their State Alarm License Number. All ACS Security representatives have required state licenses.
Please remember, that Alarm Center Security will NEVER solicit or go door-to-door!

If you believe you have been a victim of these door-to-door scam sales, or are aware of them going on in your neighborhood, please contact us immediately at (225) 292-5276, or, if you are outside the Baton Rouge area, 1-800-972-5276. You can also email us at info@alarm.net today.

[Call Alarm Center Security today for a FREE quote on a security system for your home or business - 1-800-97-ALARM - or visit our website to see if you qualify for a $0 down installation - alarm.net]