Mid-City residents report suspicious door-to-door sales of alarm systems

Mid-City residents report suspicious door-to-door sales of alarm systems

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Better Business Bureau has a warning about a door-to-door scam.

Mid-City resident Therese Fitzpatrick didn't fall for it.

"I don't know how legitimate it is. I went inside and told my husband I wasn't comfortable, that I thought there was just somebody trying to sell a security system. I don't know, I didn't sign up for it," Fitzpatrick said.

She said a man came to her door trying to sell an alarm system package, and he even brought up the recent mass shooting that happened near Tulane and Ulloa.

"I assumed the company was taking advantage of that circumstance to - you know. He asked, one of his questions was, 'You want to be safe don't you?' Of course, we all want to be safe," said Fitzpatrick.

Better Business Bureau spokeswoman Cynthia Albert said the organization often hears about door-to-door scams this time of year that involve alarm system sales.

"This is one of the things that they do.They will tell you about all of the crimes, whether it's existing or not, and they simply try to scare you into signing another contract. And if you aren't aware of all of these things, you're probably going to sign a very, very expensive contract," Albert said. "They'll tell you they're with your existing company, they may see a sign in your yard, they tell you that they understand you have an old system, that it needs to be upgraded and if you don't do that they tell you that virtually you have no security, so they use scare tactics."

Another Mid City neighbor who didn't want to talk on camera said it happened to her, too. So, she called her alarm company about it. She tells us the company said it wasn't one of their employees.

"I did ask if he could leave information and he said he would come back and leave something at the door and did not come back," said Fitzpatrick.

"If they say they're going to do something, leaving paper, coming back, actually that's an indication that you scared them off and that's a good thing," said Albert.

And Albert says if someone knocks on your door, don't let them in, even if they show you credentials.

"You don't know if they're real or not, so what you definitely want to do is find out the name of the company, the address, the phone number, and don't be in such a hurry because they're going to try to high-pressure you if they don't have a good reputation," she said.

The BBB says if you're not sure if you're being scammed, you can call them to check it out. They also recommend checking with your alarm system company to find out if they have sales representatives in your neighborhood.

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