Fake home security salesmen are nothing new to world of door-to-door selling. Impostors have been taking advantage of home owners for years by pretending to work for certain home security companies. A majority of the time these impostors are intending on getting the home owner to sign a contract but occasionally these may also be potential burglars attempting to gain access into your home.
In the most recent story of these security impostors, Vivint Home Security sent out an alert to customers in the south Texas area warning them of possible “door-to-door security scams.” Army veteran in Mission, Texas, Rigoberto Cardenas, was approached by a person claiming to be a Vivint technician days after he received the warning message. The technician was requesting access to his control panel. Cardenas asked to see the identification of the technician and discovered she was in fact a real employee. Cardenas took the right steps in preventing a potential scam. He warns others,
“If they don’t pass the test; take a picture of them, take a picture of their driver’s license and just because they are in your front door doesn’t mean they have access to it”
Others are not as proactive as Cardenas was. In Sierra Vista, Arizona, police had to warn citizens of a scam in which, “People claiming to be with security companies attempt to enter into homes.” The idea of letting a stranger into your home may seem like something you would never do but these impostors are experienced and surprisingly manipulative. To help prevent this type of thing from happening to others, we have compiled a list of hints that will expose these impostors and actions you can take.
Asking Suspicious Questions
If a person truly works for a home security company, they shouldn’t be asking when you are normally home or away. Depending on how you answer that question could determine when a potential burglar strikes. If they are asking personal questions that make you uncomfortable, that is probably a sign something is wrong.
Trying to Enter Your Home
If someone is truly there to look at your security system, they will have identification to prove their legitimacy. If they don’t have proper identification, they should not come into your home. If they are a potential burglar, entering your home will allow them to gain knowledge of what items to take or weak points of entry into your home.
Suspicious Claims and Pushy Behavior
Fake security salesmen will usually make a claim as to why they are there. A security sign in your front yard can usually become a target for impostors. It allows them to base their claims on what company you use. These claims may include:
- The company they work for bought the company you use.
- Your system needs an upgrade.
- Your security company monitors but does not actually service the equipment.
Usually these impostors also seem unusually pushy to enter your home or for you to believe their claims. If these claims come up without notification make sure to check with your current security provider and don’t let in your home until you have sure.
The Better Business Bureau received more than 2,000 complaints from homeowners who felt deceived after buying burglar alarm systems.
Confirm They Are Legitimate
Always ask for identification but if you are still feeling suspicious about this person or their claims do not hesitate to call the security company and confirm their legitimacy. A real employee will not mind offering you their identification or that you want to double-check with the company.
Cancel Any Deal
Not all fake salesmen are burglars; some are actually selling you something. Usually the contracts they have you sign are ridiculously long but it’s important to understand that you can cancel the deal. The Federal Trade Commission’s Cooling-Off Rule gives you three business days to cancel the deal if you signed the contract in your home or at a location that is not the seller’s permanent place of business. Make sure to get a cancellation copy as they are also required to offer you one.
Report the Incident
If you discover the salesmen was an impostor it is important to report the issue to whatever company they were claiming to work for. Try to record any information about the person you can. Also report the incident to the police so others in your community can be warned.
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