Security system scam on the rise in metro Atlanta

ATLANTA — Consumer adviser Clark Howard says there's a security system scam you need to be aware of.

"Homeowners have contacted me with every version of this scam," said Michael Morton, vice president of sales and marketing for EMC Security in Suwanee.

Morton says that as AT&T phases out their 2G network, fraudsters are phasing in a new scam. Security system users will receive a phone call or knock on the door from someone claiming to be with their company.
"That person will say that they're with their security provider and they are there to upgrade their security system. If the person elects to have the upgrade done, they'll be signed to a long-term contract and they won't ever know that it's not their company that's doing the upgrade, that is until they get the bill from the new company," Morton said.
Donna Ricaud recently got one of those phone calls.

"I told him that if he would just give me his name and number I would just check with the security system. I'm sure they would agree that this needed to be done and I would immediately call him back and we could schedule and appointment. He just politely said no and hung up," she said.
Ricaud said she immediately called her security company.

"I was afraid that if this was a scam going around I thought my security system servicer should be aware of it," she said.
Morton says Ricaud did exactly what she should have done.

Legitimate companies will only call if service communication will be affected and they will never show up without an appointment.

He wants everyone to be on the lookout for imposters.

"It's happening all over the country. Protect yourselves and protect your neighbors. I think that's the best advice that we can share," she said.
Howard says never sign a contract for security.

"The only proper way to have a security system monitored is month to month-- never on a long-term contract. The price you should be paying is somewhere between $15-$20 a month, period," he said.

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