Keeping your home safe may not seem like a full-time job, but without a reliable alarm system, your property, your family, and your own personal safety are all at risk. Unfortunately, alarm system scams are one of the major contributors to homes that are left vulnerable, and too many homeowners buy into a solution they believe is keeping them safe, only to fall victim of burglary, home invasion, or other violent crime.
The biggest source of alarm system scams come in the form of unsuspecting students working at summer jobs that have them going door-to-door selling home security systems. The premise of these alarm system scams are simple: the representative pays a visit to the homeowner, attempting to lure him away from his current alarm system provider. In order to ensure the homeowner’s interest is piqued, these alarm companies typically offer extremely low monthly monitoring fees, and may even be willing to install new monitoring equipment for free. The reason the alarm system scams work is that they don’t sound too good to be true, they simply seem like a better deal than the one the homeowner is currently getting.
Why Alarm System Scams Work
Another reason these alarm scams are so consistently successful is that the representatives selling the package often believe in what they’re selling. Most of the door-to-door representatives are college students looking for summer income, or recent high school graduates getting their feet wet in the workforce. They don’t have any idea they’re enabling alarm system scams, but actually believe they’re marketing a quality product that helps protect homeowners.
Unfortunately, once the homeowner agrees to the switch, the new equipment is often faulty, improperly installed, or, in the worst of the home alarm scams, simply doesn’t work. Some companies will raise their low monthly monitoring fees immediately after a customer signs the paperwork, hoping the customer won’t notice the much-higher monthly charge for awhile. The alarm system scam is so successful because, unfortunately, it works, and many homeowners are at risk without even realizing it.
Easy Ways To Protect Yourself:
- Avoid becoming the victim of alarm system scams by keeping your eyes and ears open. If something sounds too good to be true, or even like an amazingly great deal, make sure you check out both the company and the representative before making a commitment.
- Don’t sign anything on impulse. These companies train their representatives to get a quick, impulsive commitment. Most know that if the homeowner has time to really think about the proposal, or to investigate the company, he’ll no longer be interested. Be especially wary about representatives who tell you an offer is good for that day only, or the price will go up tomorrow, in an effort to get you to sign.
- Understand what’s out there. Even if you’re not unwittingly signing up for alarm system scams, you may be choosing a package that offers you far less protection than you need. Take the time to go through all the options that are out there, and remember that, while a big-name company may charge more, it is also likely to respond more quickly in case of emergency.
As with most tricks and cons, alarm system scams rely on the customer making quick decisions based on impulse and emotion, rather than fact. If an offer appeals to you, simply taking that night to think about it and do some research on the Internet may be all you need to help you make an informed, clear-headed decision.