...sold door to door, that is.  Today we also have con artists with increasingly sophisticated pitches.

OK, so not EVERYONE needs to be concerned about door-to-door salesmen, but most of us will have them come calling on us. Door-to-door salesmen in the past have sold vacuum cleaners, encyclopedias, miracle cleaning supplies, driveway coatings and the like, but today we also have con artists with increasingly sophisticated pitches meant to separate us from our money.

My security company sends regular email newsletters, like every other company you’ve ever given your email address to, and one recent item caught my eye, talking about door-to-door security system peddlers with some pretty successful scams.

I thought it wouldn’t hurt for me to pass on a couple of things that may remind you that you need to be suspicious, especially when it comes to protecting your home and family. 

Of course, I went to Google, and found a helpful info page from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):

Signs of a Security System Scam

Unscrupulous door-to-door sales agents use a variety of approaches and pitches to get you to buy an alarm system and monitoring services. Here's what to look out for:

  • They 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." More than likely, strings are attached. For example, to get your "free" alarm, you may have to sign a long-term and expensive system monitoring contract.
  • 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. 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.

Some door-to-door sales agents target homeowners who have signs on their properties for security systems with other companies. In these cases:

  • The sales agents may state or imply that they are from your existing security company and that they're there to "upgrade" or "replace" your current security system. Once inside your home, however, they may install a new security system and have you sign papers that include a costly contract for the monitoring service.
  • They may claim your security company has gone out of business, that they've taken over the accounts, and that you have to buy new equipment and sign new contracts. If this happens, call your current monitoring company to confirm. Normally, you would be notified of a change like this by mail or telephone, not by an unannounced visit by a representative from another company.

Of course, whatever line they start with, the natural inclination is for us to say we already have a system from [ XYZ Company ], which gives them ammunition to launch into the rest of their pitch.

My security company [ XYZ Company ] warned about some other fraudulent statements you could hear:

  • Your [ XYZ Company ] security system is not really being monitored.
  • [ XYZ Company ] home security systems can't protect you without being connected to a landline.
  • [ XYZ Company ] has been taken over by another company, has changed its name or is going out of business.
  • [ XYZ Company ] has a new preferred alarm monitoring company (guess who).

Just remember, we all have to be on our guard when it comes to unsolicited offers from ANYWHERE.

Jim Pedicord RE / MAX  Top Realty

281-610-7847 Cell
713-558-2537 Direct
713-773-3700 x 2537 Office  
713-773-3311 Fax
2911 S. Sam Houston Pkwy. E.   Houston, TX 77047


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