Dear PoP – ADT Security Reps Knocking on Doors?

ADT Security, originally uploaded by JaeYong, BAE.

“Dear PoP,

Tonight three men saying they were from ADT security came up to my basement apartment window asking me to come outside to speak to them. My roomate was inside and aware of the situation so I went to speak to them. They were asking questions like if I lived alone, and how big the apartment was, and if I had my own system installed and wondering if I was a student. They were dressed up as ADT men with polos and badges and gave me a card, but the questions they asked and the fact they were walking around after dark put me ill at ease. Have you heard of these men walking around recently and do you know how to find out if they are legit?”

A few months ago I heard from someone saying something similar happened in the Bloomingdale neighborhood. I’m not sure if it was ADT or another company. I know I had a representative from another service come to my door and start asking about my alarm system. I simply told him I was happy with my service. He then continued to keep talking about his service and I said I wasn’t interested. He continued talking and I raised my voice a level, not yelling but firm, looked him in the eye and said, “did you hear me? I’m not interested”. At that point he walked off.

My suggestion if this happens to others is to first to say you’re not interested if you open the door at all. If you are slightly interested I would highly recommend asking for identification. If they refuse to give you ID, say thank you, and close the door right away. You should also feel free to call the police if they don’t show you ID. If they do show you ID, make sure it has the companies name on it and it would also be smart to write down the name of the person.

My general rule is to never engage folks who come door to door. Has anyone else been receiving these visits?

13 Comment

  • Our neighbor got pulled into a swicth by an independent alarm company. just one guy who worked for adt previously, and went around to adt customers to “upgrade” or what not. Installed a new panel and started billing ferociously. Thats about the only alarm system scam i know.
    another point, why do people leave the little signs for the alarm companys in front of their homes? The systems arent that complicated, why advertise to someone who may know overide codes for certain companies.

  • Please call ADT. Often these men do not work for ADT. I had something similar happen a month or so ago. I called ADT and they confirmed that this man did not work for them. They told me to call the police. I did and the police came out (several times), but I’m not sure if they ever found the guy.

  • ADT has a big problem with this all over the country, and has tried to combat the problem by suing imposters that they’ve been able to identify.

    IMO, asking for ID isn’t enough. Anyone can make business cards, even professional looking ones, these days. It wouldn’t take too much more to create official looking ID badges.

    Follow ADT’s own advice: don’t open the door to strangers. Use a peephole. If you didn’t request an ADT salesperson come to your home, it frankly doesn’t matter if they are legit or not. If you are interested in their service, call to schedule an appointment, and when the salesperson arrives, call to confirm the validity of their ID before letting them in.

  • Im glad this was posted, as I got a similar visit last night (around 10th & Monroe, 730-ish) and was going to write in this morning about it.

    My encounter was with 3 individuals, a late-teens, early-twenties-looking male wearing a tie accompanied by a female (inconsequentially, and more for ID sake, both African American) who approached the door carrying folders with large ADT logos that they could point to…and then at street level a skinny white kid.

    I dealt with it by asking, through the door, what they wanted and the response was that they were with ADT. Besides my general distaste and distrust for door-to-door salespeople, religious zealots, and anyone other than a known kid trying to raise money for the school (known, like a neighbor, friend, church-member…and even then…) I had no inclination to open a door to my home…but as I was just sitting down to have my supper I was even more annoyed. Anyway…didnt get them a chance to ask twice, but I am sure it was scam of one sort or another…either that or ADT REALLY needs to reconsider their marketing strategy.

    I do agree with everyone…do not open doors for these people. You dont know what kind of homework they are doing or if they are invading your home or whatever other paranoid (but VERY possible) schemes are occurring.

  • When I was living on the Hill my car was broken into. Three days later the police came by my house at 1AM to “investigate”. I wouldn’t open my gate and they got really mad. They showed badges and business cards, but it is ridiculous that they would be following up at 1AM. Be careful about anyone approaching your door unexpectantly.

  • there’s lots of door-to-door billing scams going on right now in DC and Baltimore… one for phone service, one for the electric company, this thing with the security company sounds suspiciously similar. This is known as “Slamming”. they will bill the hell out of you if they manage to get any of your info. Some people get slammed even if they never see the guys in person, because they can get your billing info other ways. Check your bills! this is a big problem right now.

  • To whoever sent the email to POP:

    Did you call ADT to follow up? If so, what did they say?

  • Who opens the door for sales people?!? Seriously…. just not smart.

  • i had dudes from GE services come by. rude ass motherfuckers. i complained to ge services on their website but never heard anything back.

  • Looks, feels, and quacks like a scam. If not “Slamming” as described by Lee.Watkins above, then thieves doing their homework. Shady, shady, shady.

  • I think its a good rule to refuse to engage with random people who just show up at your door unannounced to sell stuff unless its a young kid. Giving them your attention just encourages them to engage in what I’d consider a rudely aggressive marketing technique. Same goes for those obnoxious people who hassle you on the street trying to get you to give money to GreenPeace or whatever organization.

  • I don’t know about DC, but in Maryland and I believe VA, all individuals that work for a security company (office people or sales people) are required to have a state issued security technician license/id. To get it you have to go through a background check. It’s not much different than a drivers license just in a different color. It also lists the company you represent. This along with a company issued type id (ADT, Brinks etc.) is what they need to prove they are really employed by a security company. Anyone who is legit will be glad to show you this first or at least at the same time the strike up a conversation about your needs.

    It is not uncommon that they’ll go door to door if they are in a neighborhood, they are trying to make a buck, but anyone who really wants a sale will try to make you comfortable with who they are and who they represent. They don’t need ADT on a folder, polo or anywhere….they just need to pull out their id’s for you.

    That’s what I know.

  • The Office of Consumer Protection at DCRA is seeing more of these types of scams with alarm companies. All sales people are required to be licensed in the District so be sure to request to see their official DCRA picture license upon being solicited in your home. Please report any activity of this kind by e-mail at [email protected] or go to our website at to submit a formal complaint. Thank you.

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