Authorities raising awareness about deceptive sales practices - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Authorities warning about deceptive practices used by home security companies

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

They're supposed to protect you, but authorities say some home security companies are selling nothing but lies. The state attorney general is among a growing number of agencies going after unscrupulous companies.

Several of the larger alarm system companies have also banned together at ESX Nashville, a three-day home security conference to try and stop the issue of deception sales practices.

It's a sales practice that has given the multi-billion-dollar home security alarm industry a bad name.

Companies like Vision Security, where a representative was seen on a whistle blower video training salesmen how to reel unsuspecting customers hook, line and sinker.

"It's not only sick, it's shocking to see that type of behavior and see that somebody is going to knock on a door and say that they're with ADT or ADT is going out of business or otherwise scam a customer," said ADT representative David Bleisch.

The problem is nationwide and has also hit the Midstate.

For the past six months, some folk in north Murfreesboro have been tricked by salesmen from AMP Security into changing or upgrading their alarm systems. So far, eight customers have fallen victim.

"Targeting people that have security signs in their yards, coming knocking on doors at 8 o'clock or 9 o'clock at night and won't take no for an answer," said Tom Davis, media chairman for the North Murfreesboro Alliance.

At the largest gathering of home security alarm companies and vendors in the country, the ESX Conference in Nashville, the state Attorney General's Office is raising awareness about deceptive sales practices.

"Home alarm installations, which is a current hotspot of door-to-door and telephone sales, well, scams is probably the best word," said Tennessee Attorney General Chief Policy Deputy Larry Harrington.

Conference officials said this has to stop.

"In our business, people could die, there is the potential for death if a fire alarm don't work or if technicians are not trained property," ESA President John Knox said. "So we demand our technicians and members adhere to a code of ethics."

Since ADT is the largest security alarm company in the country, they are seeing more victims, so they are now offering up to a $25,000 reward to try and catch these scammers.

Officials with the Attorney General's Office say if you are deceived into signing a contract with a shady company, you have a three-day cooling off period to cancel. They also encourage anyone who feels they have been scammed to report it to the state's Consumer Protection Division.

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