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Scam or Not? “company interviewing all households with an ADT sign outside”

by Prince Of Petworth August 10, 2015 at 1:25 pm 13 Comments

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Photo by PoPville flickr user brunofish

“Dear PoPville,

These folks from a company calling themselves “Elite” have come by our house twice this week asking to speak to the homeowner. We rent, and when we said so they left without leaving a card or any contact info. The first time they came by they said it was about our ADT alarm and that they were interviewing all households with the ADT sign outside, the second time about “an audit.” I think this is probably a scam as per http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0195-some-home-security-systems-may-be-scams

  • Jammin Jimmy

    If someone knocks on your door to talk about your security system, it is a scam. Most people going door to door cold selling a service in 2015 are scamming or casing you. If you are interested in their service, Google it later and find out more that way.

    • TJ

      Exactly. If someone comes to your door and you don’t know them (not a neighbor or a friend) you are almost certainly better off not answering the door.

      • west_egg

        Unless they conclude you must not be home and then kick in your back door.

  • Blithe

    I would err on the side of paranoia — and wonder if I were being cased. A stranger knocking on my door asking me for details about my security system is not something I would respond well to.

  • anon

    someone should try to get a photo of them. could be helpful in the event there happens to be a break in.

  • Anon

    Where is this happening?

  • dat

    Sure, it could be a scam. More likely it’s someone trying to sell an alternative to ADT that they know is cheaper and a drop-in replacement and thus a relatively easy sell…

  • Anon1

    Likely not a scam. It’s actually a common sales technique for the industry. That is why most of these companies are run by mormons (used to going door to door). They see the sign out front and intend to get you to switch to their service at a lower cost. Easier sale for them than to someone without a system in their home. Just make sure to ask detailed info about what company they are from.

  • dmzzz

    Something similar happened to me a few weeks ago. I was at home, and a man came to the door giving me some big spiel about how he was selling magazine subscriptions as part of a job training program. I heard him out and then said I wasn’t going to get anything, at which point he got really indignant and left. Gave me a bad vibe. Still not sure if it was a scam or not.

    • Dan

      Door-to-door magazine crews are almost certainly a scam. There’s a good chance you won’t get your magazines, and even if you do, their sales model is built on exploitation of vulnerable young people.

      See here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/21/us/21magcrew.html?pagewanted=all and here: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/04/trapped-into-selling-magazines-door-to-door/388601/

    • DC

      OMG, that happened to me, too! Was it a guy who was basically saying that you should purchase subscriptions that he would donate to a shelter or children’s hospital and that he was trying to get his salesman skills by selling these subscriptions?

      I think he may have been somewhat developmentally disabled because he couldn’t articulate what he was asking very well, but I couldn’t figure out what the deal was. It didn’t seem like he was trying to scam me, but it was like part of a larger ruse where he was being manipulated to scam me and others with these donations for magazine subscriptions.

  • zartan

    Aggressive sales tactics are not necessarily ‘scams.’ A scam is when an old lady is tricked into signing a reverse mortgage that she doesn’t understand, or contributing to a fake charity, or ‘helping out’ a ‘neighbor who is locked out of their house’ who’s really just a drifter with a story. This sounds like aggressive sales.
    .
    That said, aggressive sales tactics are very annoying and I would never answer my door to any stranger.

  • Sean

    Never share or answer questions with solicitors regarding home security. If you have questions contact the company directly. Sometimes these are scams – trying to scare you into a new system. Or worse a group trying to size up your property.

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