Alarm Contract Double Billing Fraud

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The business of selling residential alarm systems is very competitive and customers are aggressively sought by many companies through a variety of methods and means. There is a difference between good salesmanship and fraud, and you need to be aware of the difference. Those who are preyed upon are generally the elderly or Spanish speakers.

 

The fraud scheme goes like this: You receive an unsolicited telephone call or a knock on your door. This person tells you they now have ownership of your alarm system(s) or have taken over your account. The salesman starts making false statements similar to the following; your current alarm company has been sold, is going out of business, is going into bankruptcy, or we have obtained all rights to your account. The salesman will want to change the programming for your alarm system and update your paperwork by writing a new contract with their company. DON'T DO IT WITHOUT VERIFICATION FROM YOUR CURRENT ALARM COMPANY.

 

Take the time to make a phone call. You're still under contract with the current alarm company and a new contract may obligate you to a second alarm company and their charges. Without due diligence, you will start getting bills from both alarm companies. This becomes the "Double Billing" scam. You often are left paying both bills, costing hundreds of dollars.

FOR YOUR PROTECTION - Be cautious of any UNSOLICITED sales contact. Verify all information before you authorize any changes. Alarm businesses generally notify you, in writing, when they are being sold, transferred or having billing changes.

 

The City of Phoenix requires ALL alarm businesses and agents (technicians) to be licensed. Verify this by asking to see the agent or business license. Check the agent's license before you allow any work on your alarm system.

 

You can verify the validity of an alarm agent or alarm business license by checking our web page at www.phoenix.gov/POLICE/alarm1.html and clicking on the link of licensed alarm businesses and agents, or you may contact the Code Enforcement Unit at 602-534-0322.

 

Be Safe - Be Vigilant - Be Prepared