NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - There is a warning about aggressive door-to-door sales people from out of town, canvassing area neighborhoods.
Locally-owned alarm companies say the salesmen give out false information and use scare tactics to get inside your home.
Door-to-door scams heat up every summer, and the Better Business Bureau reports that alarm and security scams have really ramped up in our area.
"Whatever yard sign you have is where they're targeting," said Josh Lee with Toca Alarm company. "If you have a TOCA yard sign or any local company, that's their opening line – 'Hey we're here to partner with Toca Alarm and, you know, it's due for a free upgrade.'"
Lee says not only are these door-knockers falsely associating themselves with local alarm companies they're telling homeowners they're due for a free upgrade, and instead, consumers end up financing a long-term contract.
And they're using scare tactics to lock you in.
"What police reports may have gone down in a neighborhood in the past few weeks like car burglaries or home thefts or anything else in the area, you know, basically a scare tactic," Lee said.
"What they do is they get you to sign a contract," said Cynthia Albert with the BBB. "They take the old unit out and they put theirs in so actually you're dealing with a whole different company, and it's usually inferior and more money."
The local industry wants to alarm consumers to be on the lookout.
"They are letting strangers into their house that have not passed a background checkslike every one of our employees has to," said Victor Arroyo with Alarm Protection Services. "They're not even licensed to operate in the state, and that's a big complaint not only here but also in other states."
Lee says they're using deceptive practices to lure in consumers and giving local, well-established alarm companies a bad name.
The BBB says you should always research the company and read online reviews. Before you agree to anything, get verbal promises in writing and don't let anyone in your home, even if they show you credentials. They may be fake.