How to Avoid Door-to-Door Security Sales Scams
Once the nice weather approaches, the alarm system “door knockers” start gearing up for another season of high-pressure selling. For those who may not know, “door knockers” are salespeople who go door-to-door in hopes of selling something to residential homeowners. While this may all sound well and good, the problem is that these door knockers are in the business of scamming people. The products they sell are often illegitimate, and when it comes to security systems, their main objective is to trick a homeowner into signing a contract to lock them into a deal.
This post will serve as a guide to protect against door knockers and the scams that they offer:
Rule #1: Don’t invite anyone inside your home if they show up uninvited.
Door knockers will go to extreme measures in an attempt to scam a homeowner. For example, one may show up at your front door unannounced in a fake uniform. This is why, even if someone is in uniform, a homeowner should refuse entry into a home without a scheduled appointment. Some door knockers will impersonate an employee of a homeowner’s current security company if they see a sign in the front yard. They do this in an attempt to gain trust and entice a homeowner into signing a contract to “upgrade” or “expand” a current package.
Burglars have also been known to impersonate utility employees in order to gain access to a home. As reported in this news article from KWQC in the Quad Cities, the burglars will often knock on the door of a home and be “very persistent” in distracting a homeowner while their partners steal your possessions.
To avoid all of these issues, a very simple solution is to refuse entry into a home for anyone without a scheduled appointment. Look out the window before opening the door and always keep the doors and windows locked, even if present at the home.
Rule #2: Beware of “too good to be true” promotions and limited time offers.
Door knockers will often promise amazing deals or time sensitive offers in order to entice a homeowner to sign on the dotted line. If a door knocker succeeds in getting a person to answer the door and engage in conversation, they will attempt to wow a victim with unbelievable deals. A good way to prevent this is to always ask for ID and ask to read through the entire contract that is being offered.
A door knocker may tell a homeowner that he is representing a company that just bought out the homeowner’s current security company, but homeowners need to keep in mind that if a company was sold, they absolutely would not learn about it first from a door-to-door salesman. In this type of a situation, a homeowner should call his or her current security system provider to confirm that the door knocker is lying. As the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Rule #3: Don’t believe, listen to, or fall for scare tactics.
If the amazing deals and limited offers fail, a door knocker may resort to scare tactics in order to sell a product. If a door-to-door salesperson starts to talk about an increase in crime in the neighborhood or a trend of crimes being committed nearby, this is a tell-tale sign that the salesperson is a scam artist. A trusted representative from a legitimate home security company would never engage in scare tactics to sell a product. This is often a last option for door knockers. If the door-to-door salesperson refuses to take no for an answer, do not hesitate to call 911.
Rule #4: Only do business with credible security companies.
When it boils down to it, a homeowner should only do business with credible home security companies. With something as important as home security on the line, it would be smart to trust an established company with the safety of your home rather than a door knocker. Supreme Security Systems, along with every other legitimate security company, would never engage in deceptive practices. With technology nowadays, it’s easy to do a quick online search for home security companies. Why trust a stranger with an agenda when it’s extremely easy to research a product in the comfort of your home?
To recap, when the weather starts to get better, the door-to-door salesman strike. Homeowners must beware of the tricks that door knockers use to scam innocent people.
Sometimes all they need is the door to be opened, that’s why it’s recommended that a homeowner ignore a salesperson at the door if he or she is coming without an appointment. The door knocker could be a burglar and some have been known to force their way into a home after the door has been opened. It’s unfortunate, but these are the problems that face homeowners today.
Use these tips to protect your family, your home and your bank account from door knockers and their crimes!