Unfortunately, homeowners should be aware of the very real threat of home security scams. Whether you’re considering home security alarm installation or you already have an existing provider, beware. Scammers will seem like legitimate representatives, but don’t let them play to your fears. The first step to protecting yourself from these ploys is to be able to identify them. Following are some of the methods scammers use to exploit homeowners.
Red Flag #1: Company Changes
One of the most common scams that companies employ is to pretend that they have bought out your current New Jersey home security company. In this case, a representative from the “buyer company” will show up on your doorstep to discuss the company changes and have you sign a new contract. These representatives are from real companies and will lie to lock you into two contracts from two separate companies at the same time.
If you are approached by a door-to-door salesman who claims to be a representative of a company that has bought out your current home security company, verify that the salesperson is telling the truth by calling your current provider.
Red Flag #2: Unexpected Visits
If someone shows up at your door claiming to be with your existing provider, but did not have a scheduled appointment with you, you, it should raise a red flag. Ask for credentials and have them wait outside while you confirm their visit with your company. Use the phone number you have on hand, not the one on the information the salesperson gives you as they could be providing you with a false number.
Red Flag #3: Unbelievably Low Prices
It is sage advice to always be wary when something seems too good to be true. One of the ways that these scam artists get people to sign home security contracts is by offering them prices that seem incredibly low. The prices are often low for the first couple of months, but that is just an introductory rate. When the full rate kicks in a few months down the road, customers will be paying through their teeth for their home security system.
The best way to avoid this is to always read the fine print in a home security contract before signing anything. The home security company has to disclose everything in the contact, and you can avoid receiving a big rate hike in the future by always reading every line of the contract to check for rate hikes. Don’t feel pressured; take the contract with you to read and tell the sales person you will contact him or her when you’ve reached a decision.
Red Flag #4: Hidden Fees
Another way that alarm companies can fool you is with their expensive hidden fees. One of the most common hidden fees they include is for home security alarm installation. Be especially leery of contracts that offer cheap monthly payments; these companies often make up for the offset in hidden fees and poor quality services.
Again, the best way to avoid this is to always read carefully every line of a home security contact before signing anything. Reputable home security companies will not try to hide these rate hikes and fees in their contracts, but it is still important for homeowners to always thoroughly read every section of any home security contract before signing.
Red Flag #5: High Pressure
If it feels like a salesman is pressuring you to sign a home security contract quickly, red flags should be raised. A reputable New Jersey home security company will never pressure customers to sign a contract. Beware of “limited time offers” that require quick, poorly thought out decisions.
As a general rule, never let a stranger into your home, especially if their presence is unexpected. Even if they are the “real deal” representatives from reputable security companies understand the rules of home safety and security and shouldn’t mind having a discussion outside of your home. Verify the identity of any door-to-door salesperson with the company they claim to represent and don’t make any commitments on the same day. If you suspect you’ve been a potential target or a victim of a scam, immediately contact you’re the authorities and your existing home security provider if you have one.
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