Alarm System Fraud Alert
DEPARTMENT OF POLICE
MEDIA SERVICES DIVISION
2350 RESEARCH BOULEVARD ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND 20850-3294
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
June 23, 2011
| FOR MORE INFORMATION: |
Media Services Division, 240-773-5030
As summer approaches, so do the number of door-to-door salespeople frequenting homes to sell or service alarm systems. The Montgomery County Police – False Alarm Reduction Section wants to remind residents that while some door-to-door salespersons are honest, the possibility is great that the salesperson is not honest or even legitimate. The False Alarm Reduction Section has already received numerous complaints this month regarding alarm salespersons. On June 16th, a resident in Takoma Park was told by a door-to-door alarm salesperson that he represented her current company and installed an entire new system in her home. On June 19th, a door-to-door salesperson told a Bethesda resident that her present alarm company had gone out of business and that he needed to replace her alarm system that night in order for her alarm system to remain operational. The resident was able to get in touch with her current alarm company, who informed her that the salesperson was not from the company and to call police. The salesperson left before police arrived at the home.
These alarm system salespersons can have different motivations for knocking on residents’ doors. Some salespersons want to simply make money. They will bill homeowners for a variety of services that they state they have performed to their security system, such as upgrades or replacing old systems. If a resident signs a contract with these salespersons, he may end up paying two companies for the same service. Some salespersons are simply impersonators and do not work for any alarm company. These impersonators want to enter homes to gain intelligence on the current alarm system and are actually casing the home for a possible burglary.
The Montgomery County Police – False Alarm Reduction Section urges residents who are thinking of purchasing an alarm system to make sure that the salesperson has a valid license from the Maryland State Police and not just a company identification card. Montgomery County also requires door-to-door salespersons to obtain a Solicitor’s License from the Office of Consumer Protection. The False Alarm Reduction Section also issues a license to every alarm company conducting business within Montgomery County. A consumer can call the False Alarm Reduction Section with the company’s license number and confirm its validity. If a current consumer of an alarm system is approached by a salesperson representing their current alarm company, the homeowner needs to call that company and confirm that the salesperson is legitimate. Reputable companies will not send technicians to homes unannounced.
For more information about home alarm service fraud, please call the False Alarm Reduction Section at: 240 – 773 – 6300.