Fraud and Scams in the Home Security Industry – How to Protect Yourself

Certain professions in our society tend to be innately trusted. Nurses, doctors and sometimes even lawyers are all trusted and respected by default … and another of those professions is the home security industry. Every genuine business in the home security industry is here to protect you from people that care very little about your interests … but unfortunately there are plenty of businesses who capitalise on that fact using various types of home security monitoring, back to base alarm and CCTV camera system frauds and scams. We look at some common types of scams today, as well as how you can protect yourself from them.

The Burglar Disguised as a Home Security Consultant

The ‘job’ of a burglar is so much easier if they know the layout of a house in advance … and many know it will be especially easy if the homeowners believe that they have a fully functional alarm system installed, but the ‘back to base alarm’ consultant has actually tampered with it somehow.

Protect yourself by:

  • Never letting door-to-door salesmen into the home (even if they appear to be from a security company)
  • Not buying back to base security systems from people who push their services on you unsolicited without checking their credentials. Have a look at their website, check on their security license with the issuing body, or simply call back the office and see how they answer the phone!
  • Asking for back to base alarms from reputable suppliers

The Dodgy Back to Base Alarm Contract

Contracts are quite standard practice across the home security monitoring industry – although Pacific Security Technology believes we should keep our customers through good service, not legal contracts, many other companies don’t feel the same.

If you choose to go with a company that works on a contract system, be aware that just as with contracts in any area of life, you need to read them carefully and be aware of what you are signing. A home security sales company in the UK was found cold calling people and offering back to base alarm systems for 1 British pound … then having the customers sign contracts for up to £6000.

Protect yourself by:

  • Always reading contracts carefully!
  • Checking on credentials before you sign with any particular security company

The Home Security “Upgrade”

In a variant of the ‘burglar dressed as a security consultant’ scam, people in the US have knocked on doors claiming to be from the owner’s back to base alarm monitoring company, saying that your security system is due for an upgrade. They then install an inferior system and bill you for it; or they simply disable it and burgle your home.

Protect yourself by:

  • Not putting back to base alarm monitoring stickers on your windows
  • Following all of the above good advice!

The Non-Cancelled Service

In Chicago, a company was recently penalised for not cancelling home security monitoring contracts when asked by consumers – this was ultimately seen as carrying on misleading business, because their cancellation policy was deceptive.

Protect yourself by:

  • Choosing a company that doesn’t use contracts!
  • Making sure you know the ins and outs of your contract, if you choose to have one

Unfortunately, the world we live in means that you need to undertake your own checks on the authenticity of companies. At Pacific Security Technology we’ll also endeavour to keep you updated on our local security scams also!

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