Every year, especially during the spring and summer, the home security industry and its customers are targeted by scams. The aim of these scams is to get homeowners to switch their monitoring system to a new, far inferior and far more expensive options, often with hidden fees and bad intentions.
The alarming part of these scams is that these security companies don’t usually try to persuade you to switch to their company or even ask outright.
Instead, they lie, pretending to be aligned with your company or the manufacturer of your devices to steal your information and charge you for their unwanted services.
We take our customer’s safety and trust seriously, and have provided tips to bust scammers before they start in years passed. In this post, we’ll be guiding you through the top home security scams of 2017 so our customers will know what to look for to ensure their safety and privacy remains intact.
“I’m with your Home Security Company”
One of the main tactics scammers use is going door to door claiming to be a representative of your home security company. Many security companies, Dynamark included, include a yard or window sign which alerts would-be burglars or criminals that your home is highly protected. While these signs scare away criminals, they can actually attract home security scammers to your door.
These scammers will turn up, unannounced, and introduce themselves as a representative of your home security company, or GE or Honeywell (popular manufacturers of security devices).
Don’t believe them. At Dynamark, our main goal is ensuring safety and comfort within our customer’s homes. We will never show up unannounced offering to upgrade your system, your protection package, or to check your devices. In fact, our policy is to never go door-to-door for sales or any other motive.
We will always communicate via authorized correspondence should you need a technician or representative to come to you. An appointment will be set that meets your needs and then, only then, will an official Dynamark employee visit your home. We will never show up unannounced trying to sell you our services or tinker with your system.
Though tempting, don’t remove your security signs from your home, as these do play their part in scaring away criminals. Do, however, familiarize yourself with the signs of an unannounced home security scammer.
“Can You Hear Me?”
While the scam we listed before pops up each year, 2017 has seen a new trend emerging which targets homeowners via a phone call. A call will pop up on a homeowners cell or home phone, typically with a local area code. A representative, often a sly recording, will begin playing and the voice will ask “can you hear me?”
Do not respond. Simply hang up the phone and let authorities know. Why? Because the typical answer to “can you hear me?” is often “yes” or “yes, I can.” These scammers are secretly recording your voice and will alter the phone call, using your voice saying “yes” as proof of authorization to bill your for services or sign you up for a new home security system.
This scam can be dangerous and may signal bigger issues at hand. When homeowners receive these calls, it can mean their identity or information has been stolen unknowingly. This allows scammers to use your stolen personal information to sign up for services, new security systems, or even authorize fraudulent charges. All they need is your voice saying “yes” to make it appear as though you have authorized their fraudulent activities.
If you receive one of these calls, hang up immediately, alert authorities, and check over any and all personal information and accounts for fraudulent activities.
“Your home security company doesn’t have…”
A much milder scam tactic is also a fairly rare one. Representatives of a different home security company will go door-to-door to sell their services. They will appear and have credentials that certify them as working for a competitor, and will simply be there to provide a sales pitch.
The scam, however, is the lies they will tell to get you to switch providers.
These lies can range from “your home security company doesn’t have 24-hour support, like we do” to “your home security company can no longer provide upgrades to your system, and it is out of date. Our company, however…” and everything in between.
Dynamark, as many of our customers know, actually provides both of these services, and claims that we do not will be an indicator of a scam.
In these situations, it’s best to take the representative’s flyer or information and look up the company online. Most of these companies have terrible reviews due to the scams, lies, and terrible service they provide to customers. Remember to never give your information to them, not even a phone number, and let the scamming representative know you’ll contact them if interested.
While spring and summer allow warmer weather for scammers to go door-to-door, there is no need to worry as long as you can identify the signs of a scam. If you ever have any questions, concerns, or scams to report, do not hesitate to contact us—Dynamark is here whenever you need us.