It's that time of year again. It is starting earlier every year. If you have a home security sign in your yard, no matter the company, you are a target for aggressive solicitors attempting to scam you.
Our office has already started to receive phone calls regarding door-to-door solicitors from supposed security companies that are pushy and misrepresenting not only EMC Security but technology manufacturers like Honeywell.
Below are tips for recognizing scammers and what you should do in the event you are approached in person or via phone:
Don’t let anyone into your home unless you have pre-approved the visit
Remember, if you allow an unauthorized person inside to do an “inspection” of your home, you’re virtually letting that person in to case your house. Don’t let anyone who hasn’t made an appointment into your home. If an estimate or installation needs to be done, call the business directly to make the appointment. EMC Security will never visit your home without an appointment! Call us immediately at 678-963-0305 if you feel unsafe or would like to verify the person at your door is who they say they are.
Ask for proof of ID
If anyone comes to your door telling you that they work for a security company, don’t be afraid to ask for identification. Some scam artists go to great lengths to convince you of their employment by creating false ID’s and uniforms, and it’s easy to accept their word—but don’t. You can even ask for personal identification, such as a driver’s license, to confirm their identity.
Ask for a physical address for the company
Bottom line–legitimate security companies will have a street address. If you don’t see an address listed on the sales information or brochures, ask where the company is located. Get it in writing!
Avoid pushy, pressured sales pitches
A legitimate sales person will allow you to take your time to review the sales information, give you referrals, and not place pressure on you to buy. If you hear a pitch to purchase a security system that includes phrases like “today’s special price” or “one time only,” the salesperson may be trying to pressure you into signing an expensive, long-term contract.
Get a written estimate
Don’t rely on the salesperson’s word or a computer image. Get a hard copy of the written estimate of any contract that you need to review. Ask questions, and find out who will install and monitor the system.
Know your rights concerning contracts
In Georgia, contracts for sales, leases or rental goods for homes are entitled to a 3-day “cooling off” period, where the signee is allowed to think about their purchase and compare prices for similar goods. Check this state website for more details.