By Kurtis Ming

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Every year about this time, alarm companies fan out and start knocking on doors. Most of the companies are legit, but some tactics used are questionable.

Veteran Bill McCullough of North Highlands says a salesman came to his front door saying they were taking over service for his current alarm company. He would get all new equipment.

“He told me a lie,” Bill said.

He later learned he was tricked into signing a contract with a different alarm company and ended up locked in two contracts with two monthly bills.

“I want your damn equipment out of my house,” he recalls thinking.

CBS13 has heard of a variety of dirty high-pressure sales tactics like claiming burglaries are up in your neighborhood, that your current company is out of business, and they have rock bottom prices, but you must act that day to get the deal.

Linda Leduff of Vacaville told us last year how a salesman promised to get her out of her current alarm contract with cheaper service. She too ended up with two monthly bills.

“I was thinking somebody made a mistake here,” she said.

Victims of alarm scams told their story at a Better Business Bureau news conference.

I was conned into signing a sixty month contract at a higher rate,” 86-year-old Marie Marshall said.

She trusted the salesman.

“I allowed him into my home.”

Marie is still paying a higher bill with that new company. However, Linda and Bill got out of those new contracts.

The BBB’s Danielle Spang says seniors are targets simply because they’re home to answer their door.

“It’s just absolutely heartbreaking,” she said. “That’s very low and it’s very sad to target the elderly community simply because you think they are going to be a victim.”

A tough lesson for some viewers.

“You try to believe people,” Leduff said. Unfortunately, you can’t believe everyone.”

By law, alarm salespeople must be licensed through the Department of Consumer Affairs. You can verify a license by clicking here.


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