Protect Yourself: Know How To Spot a Security Scam

Many people find it very surprising just how often others fall for a security system scam. The truth is that by and large, issues associated with a breach in home security are top on many Americans’ lists of fears. In a society where we’re always connected and where horror stories of others getting into spaces they shouldn’t be in can be found at any hour of the day on a variety of mediums, we want to feel safe.

However, security system scams are very real, and as a homeowner, you need to be aware of what’s out there.

Edging In On Fear

Many security system scams are done via “cold calls” — visits to your doorstep, usually in the spring and summer months. In many ways, a security scammer has a leg up just by ringing your doorbell. Having a salesman at your doorstep - especially in today’s day and age - is disarming. The dog may be barking in the background, you may have food cooking on the stove, or you may be interrupted in the middle of doing something important. A person standing on your doorstep at such a time recalls in your subconscious your desire to not have intruders in your home. In some ways, you just want the person to go away. This could make you more vulnerable to the idea of a system that promises to do just that.

Act Now

A legitimate security systems company would not offer a deal that is only good in the next minute or two, while they’re standing on your doorstep. Pressure to “act now” and a refusal to let you have time to do research and give the decision some real thought is a big red flag. You need time to review:
  • Equipment fees
  • Contract fees
  • Contract length
  • Your protections under a contract
If a supposed salesman will not let you review this information, don’t sign anything.

Inviting Themselves In

Many scammers will invite themselves into your home. The reason is, typically, not that they’re hoping to harm you once inside. Rather, it’s more difficult for you to get the person to leave without signing something once they’re inside. Do not allow someone into your home that you don’t know, regardless of how persuasive they may seem. Whatever they need to tell you can be told to you outside - or better yet, via a follow-up phone call once you’ve been able to review their terms and services.

Verify, Verify, Verify

Many scammers claim to be a representative of your current security company. Know that your current security system company would not send a representative to your home unannounced. Regardless of what claims the person on your doorstep is making, do not allow them access to your accounts and systems without first verifying their story with your security system company. Tip: don’t take a phone number from the potential scammer himself to do your verification. Call the phone number on your billing statement that was sent directly from your security system company to you.
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