Home Security Scams – What to Look Out For

It’s important that we all feel safe in our homes, but when investing in security systems, unfortunately it is becoming all too common to fall victim to so-called offers that are in fact scams.

It’s important that we all feel safe in our homes, but when investing in security systems, unfortunately it is becoming all too common to fall victim to so-called offers that are in fact scams. From rogue websites to offers of so-called free equipment, here are the common home security scams you might come across, and how to protect yourself against them.

Home security scams

Unexpected callers

Beware anyone who turns up at your door without an appointment, claiming to be a representative of a security company.

No security company will send a representative without first making arrangements or being asked to call, so be very cautious if this happens.

Follow our advice on how to deal with bogus callers, and only ever trust someone who you have invited to attend, and who can supply verifiable ID and is happy to wait whilst you check it.

Limited time offers

If you are dealing with a security salesperson who is creating a sense of urgency by perhaps suggesting that there’s an immediate danger that needs to be addressed straight away, the offer on the table is only available today, or who is pushing you to sign on the dotted line without giving you enough time to think about the offer and make a decision in your own time, then more often than not this will be a home security scam.

No trustworthy security representative will expect an instant decision, especially around a significant purchase. If they are legitimate, they will be more than willing to return at an agreed later date, giving you time to compare quotes, do your research and discuss everything with friends and family.

Never give in to pushy tactics. If you are made to feel uncomfortable, ask the salesperson to leave, and lock the door behind them.

Representatives claiming to work for your existing security company

If you have an existing home security system, it is a fairly easy task to ascertain which company has supplied it. You may have a branded intruder alarm box, or signs or stickers on display warning that your home is protected. Unfortunately, these can all be targets for home security scams.

Scammers will claim to work for your existing security company, insisting that they’re paying you a service visit to review your needs and keep your account up to date. They may even claim that the company is going out of business, and that they need to replace your equipment and move any ongoing payments to them.

Others may suggest that your existing equipment is not sufficient to protect against the latest home security threats, pushing you to upgrade for a ‘bargain’ or limited time offer. It may be that you end up with a completely new system from a new provider, and end up paying two lots of contract fees.

If you are in any way suspicious of whether a representative actually works for your security company, or even if there is just the tiniest inkling of doubt in your mind, then ask them to wait outside whilst you verify their identity. Close and lock the door, and call your security company to check the facts. Any genuine representative will be only too happy to allow you to do this.

Free equipment

A common home security scam involves an offer of free equipment, such as intruder alarms or CCTV cameras, without revealing the compulsory and extortionately high ongoing costs for maintenance and monitoring.

No bona fide security company will supply core equipment for free. They may offer a free gift with a full system purchase, but if you are offered entire solutions at zero cost, you should most certainly smell a rat and make sure you scrutinise the small print of the contract for hidden costs, which is exactly what a scammer won’t want you to do.

Auto renewals

Some less than trustworthy home security companies will have a hidden auto renewal clause for maintenance or monitoring contracts secreted within the fine print of their agreements.

The trick is that homeowners must cancel their service in writing a set amount of time in advance, otherwise the contract will auto-renew and there will be a penalty to pay if they wish to cancel.

Again, always check the fine print in any home security contract so that you know what you are dealing with.

Fake websites

There is a rapidly growing number of fake websites online, and not just in the security industry.

The websites are set up purely for collecting personal data and payment information and do not actually sell anything at all.

Be wary of any website that:

  • Has no physical address displayed
  • Has no landline telephone number
  • Is littered with spelling mistakes and poor English
  • Only accepts bank transfers as payment

Never enter your personal information into such a website. Even if the website looks official, it could still be a scam by way of impersonating the real supplier site. Always be on your guard and look closely at the website address, which could be slightly different to the genuine security company’s name by even just a single character.

How to make sure you’re using a genuine, trustworthy home security company?

With so much potential for home security scams, it is vital that you do your homework before choosing the company that will help keep everything you value safe.

Be sure to:

  • Check the company’s website and social media accounts to verify their expertise and authority
  • Check customer reviews across multiple channels, not just on the company’s website
  • Seek out a company with a physical presence so that you can always visit them in person should you have an issue or need assistance
  • Look for evidence of memberships of official industry bodies and accreditations, in particular National Security Inspectorate NACOSS Gold for intruder alarms, CCTV and access control systems
  • Thoroughly scrutinise contracts and satisfy yourself you are clear on the installation price, the contract period, any ongoing maintenance or monitoring fees, any discounts or deals and how long they are valid for and cancellation terms. Also look for a written warranty for equipment and workmanship.

Looking for a home security company you can trust?

Barry Bros Security has been trusted by home and business owners for more than 70 years. As a National Security Inspectorate Gold approved company, you can rely on our team to deliver the quality and reliability you need to ensure total peace of mind across all your intruder alarm, CCTV and access control needs.

Why not visit our London showroom or get in touch for the tailored, accredited home security advice you can fully rely on?

How Can We Help?

Regardless of the type of premises you are looking to protect, Barry Bros Security has the solution. Contact us today for expert advice and the benefit of decades of experience in the security industry.