Homeowners are being scammed by home alarm “upgrades”.

Who It’s Targeting: Homeowners or property renters with alarm systems

What It Is: In the home alarm scam, a salesman appears on your doorstep and fast-talks his way inside. He may claim he’s there to upgrade your alarm system, to check on your alarm system, or any other manifestation that has to do with your existing system. What you don’t know is that he’s not actually associated with your alarm monitoring company. He may go so far as to remove your existing system—the one that actually still works perfectly—and install a new one in its place. He finishes by having you sign a “work order,” only it’s actually a contract for new service. You may only find out about the new system when you get two bills, one from the company you’re currently under contract with and one from the new company, or when your existing alarm company alerts you to a problem with their equipment.

What They Are After: The scammer is after the easy payday associated with signing up one more customer, but this scam is so widespread that it’s hard to believe it’s not a trick of the trade in this industry.

How You Can Avoid It: Never let a workman into your home to work on any of your household systems or appliances without proper authorization. There should never be a time when someone appears unannounced and says there’s a problem with anything you own. YOU would be the one to report the problem, not the company. If the company did contact you to upgrade your renew your system in some way, they certainly wouldn’t send someone without proper credentials and an appointment.

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