It’s an otherwise ordinary Wednesday afternoon, and a man claiming to be an ADT installer is at your door. Is he a genuine ADT representative or a fake? Learning how to tell if an installer is the real deal or a criminal in disguise is vital to the security of your home and your family’s safety.
Keep these eight warning signs of a fake ADT installer in mind the next time open the door to a stranger.
Your ADT installer might be a fake if they:
- Ask for a cash payment or pressure you for credit card information.
- Claim they are a sub-contractor for ADT but doesn’t have any credentials to prove it.
- Arrive un-announced. Most legitimate ADT appointments are prearranged.
- Tell you that “ADT is going out of business and I represent the new company,” or, “Your ADT security panel is outdated. I’m here to install a new one.”
- Drive a vehicle that does not display ADT decals.
- Do not wear an ADT uniform.
- Fail to present official identification such as an ADT identification badge, photo ID, or business card. All ADT workers, including ADT Authorized Dealers, must carry photo ID and present it when requested to do so.
- Become irritated with your questions regarding his or her authenticity or tells you there’s no reason for concern.
- Tell you that he or she will install an ADT security system for free if you put a sign in your yard and fill out an “agreement” that asks for critical personal information.
If you’re concerned, what should you do?
If you suspect that your ADT installer may be a fake, here are some tips on what steps to take next:
- Gather as much information as you can about the person, including their name, the name of the company they represent, their ID badge number, a description of their vehicle, the reason why they are at your home, and a general physical description.
- Tell the person to wait outside, and then close and lock the door.
- Call ADT directly at 1-800-ADT-ASAP (238-2727) to determine whether the person is a legitimate ADT employee.
- If ADT can’t confirm the individual’s identity, call law enforcement immediately. Don’t open the door. If the person drives away while you’re waiting for help, try to get the license plate number of the vehicle and note which way the vehicle went.
- When it’s safe to do so, tell your neighbors what happened and caution them to beware of scammers.
The Dangers of Allowing a Fake ADT Representative into Your Home
Giving a fake alarm system installer a view of your house undermines your current security system’s effectiveness. The potential criminal could use the information you give them about your security system to deactivate it and burglarize your home. While they’re inside talking to you, the fake installer may also take the opportunity to “case” your home, looking for valuable items they want to steal later. And while it isn’t common, he or she could cause you physical harm.
If you haven’t confirmed the individual’s identity, questions such as “What’s your security code?”, “Do you live alone?”, “When are you typically gone from your home?”, and “Do you have any pets?” should raise a red flag. The fake is gathering information that will help him or her burglarize your home at a later date.
Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to ADT fakes. Be sure the seniors in your life know the warning signs of a scammer and remind them to be particularly alert during the months of June, July and August when scamming peaks.
Don’t feel pressured to allow a technician into your home until you’ve verified that they are an ADT representative. A genuine ADT employee will understand and respect your concern.