Beware of Door to Door Security Scams

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - They're designed to protect your home from intruders, but some local residents may soon end up without much security at all.

"We've had three customers this week that have been in my term, flim flammed by this company that has come into town,"says Paul Bourff, Sr., owner of Bi-City Burglar and Fire.

Bourff is talking about another company called APX Alarm Security Solutions.

He says sales people from the Utah based company are hitting up older Columbus neighborhoods with elderly residents.

"They've targeted people with signs on their houses so that they know they already have an alarm system, they go in and talk to them about upgrading their system," says Bourff.

Bourff says the sales pitch doesn't change despite the fact that some of those customers are already covered by another company.

"The salesman has told them well, you've had the alarm too long, those contracts aren't any good, you don't have to honor those contracts anymore," explains Bourff.

Bourff says that statement however is not true, so customers end up with two contracts and that means two payments.  Plus, in several cases, not as much protection.

"Their equipment has been taken down, some of the equipment that was in the house like smoke detectors or motion detectors were not re-hooked back up," adds Bourff.

The Better Business Bureau recently issued a warning about similar practices.

Plus, President Leonard Crain says it's not the first time they've heard about problems with APX.

"They were here last year about the same time and what they're basically doing is blitzing the area again, sales agents are hired and the company puts them in the field and they try to gain new accounts," says Crain.

Crain says his office has had a high volume of calls concerning what would be considered aggressive sales tactics.

A look at the BBB's website reveals similar complaints.

There were nearly 1500 filed against APX in the last 36 months.  More than 400 were related to contracts, 375 about sales practice issues and another 275 regarding billing or collection.

There's also a note about government action taken against APX in two states.

The company manages to maintain a B+ rating though, likely by answering all of those complaints.

Crain says consumers who do sign contracts have three days to cancel, but this latest example provides an important reminder.

"Anybody that knocks at your door, door to door solicitors, be careful about signing any contracts, and don't pay any cash for anything."

We talked to a spokesperson from APX and they did confirm they had sales people in the area.

He says he wasn't aware of such problems and issued the following statement:

"We do not condone the use of aggressive or scare tactics. We have a well-trained sales force where it is important for us to be courteous, respectful and good citizens in the areas in which we are working. We take all reports of improper behavior seriously.

If any sales rep. does not live up to company guidelines, we will certainly take the appropriate action against that individual according to company policy."

If you know someone or you've already signed a contract with APX, and you're out of that window to cancel, call the company anyway to alert them of the situation.