Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Don’t Respond to Alarming Security System Pitch!

A call reporting that burglaries are on the rise in your neighborhood would be enough to get anyone’s attention. But if the call includes a pitch for a new home security system, don’t fall for it. More than 600 North Carolina consumers contacted us last year to report telemarketing calls pitching alarm systems.

The calls often start with an alarming recorded message that says the FBI or SBI has noticed a spike in burglaries and “reports a break in every five minutes” in your area. The message then says that the company has installed home security systems in your neighborhood, and that you can get an alarm system for free if you’ll agree to let the company place a sign in your yard.

It’s against state law for a business to call you using a recorded message, and if you’ve signed up for the Do Not Call Registry, you shouldn’t be getting telemarketing sales calls at all. But some companies continue to make these calls illegally.

We’re investigating the calls and believe they’re coming from firms hired by alarm system companies to generate leads for new business. We’ve traced some of the calls and ordered companies to stop making them, and we’re working on other ways to enforce the law.

If you get one of these calls:

• Don’t respond. Even if the recorded message gives you the option to press a number to stop future calls, don’t do it. Pressing a number confirms that the telemarketers have reached a valid phone number, and you’re likely to get more calls instead of fewer.

• Report the calls to our office. You can file a complaint online at ncdoj.gov, or call us toll-free at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.

• To get accurate information about crime rates in your area, check with local law enforcement or view statewide crime statistics online at ncdoj.gov.
This message brought to you on behalf of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.

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