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Report finds home security companies using scare tactics to scam homeowners

Posted: 1:17 PM, Aug 20, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-20 19:17:41Z

There’s a growing problem you need to consider if you're thinking about buying a new home security system.

Alarm systems for your home are becoming more affordable and available to everyone. But a recent report made by the Consumer Federation of America says that scary sales tactics and false claims are allowing companies to take your money right from in front of you, and the problem is growing across the country.

While burglaries in the country are down by nearly 5 percent, the amount of alarm systems is expected to be up 30 percent by 2020.

"They're starting to see these alarming practices of companies using scare tactics, other kinds of misrepresentations and also failing to really make clear to consumers how much their services are going to cost," says Susan Grant, director of consumer protection and privacy at Consumer Federation of America.

The report found companies tried instilling fear in people in order to get them to purchase their system.

Other methods used are a little more subtle, but they can be just as deceiving. The report found that companies were often pressuring consumers into deals that were too good to be true.

"No deal is too good to pass up,” says Grant. “If the deal is good today, it's going to be good tomorrow."

There are ways you can protect yourself. Grant says it's best to do your research; never sign anything on the spot. Also, avoid digital contracts that require you to sign on a phone or tab. You should ask for a copy of what you are signing.

"You want to shop around and see what the costs are of other companies and compare their reputations as well," suggests Grant.

Checking the company’s reviews on the Better Business Bureau is a good place to start when choosing the right company.