Several weeks ago on the highly acclaimed television show “Criminal Minds” an un-sub, (psychotic serial killer) targeted his victims through social media and a clever ruse of using his job as a cable salesman and installer to gain access to the his intended victims homes. He would knock on the door and make a pitch about how is company’s new 4G technology was such a vast improvement over what the customer currently had. He would ask for a few minutes of their time to provide a quick demonstration, and when there back was turned he would plant a wireless camera on their security keypad, so he could gain the access code. Although the show criminal minds is a fictional show about FBI profilers that hunt serial killers the methodology that these criminals use is indeed based on fact and could well be used by some demented psychopath that may target you.
Although it is common for salespeople to solicit their services door to door, it is not safe to let someone inside your home that just appears on your doorstep. Without knowledge of who this person is, you could be setting yourself up to have problems in the future. The security industry often uses door to door sales practices and I have done it myself. The fact is there are companies that are not reputable and will fire any Tom, Dick and Harry off the street if they think that it will make them money. Even though licensing is required, in the state of North Carolina a company has two weeks to process the paperwork and get it in to the state. This is two weeks too many as it allows a window for the bad elements that should never be in the alarm industry to slip through the cracks, even if it is for just a short window. It is my belief that new registrants should not be allowed to work until their background checks have been processed and they have an alarm license from the state. The only problem with this going into effect is that the state alarm licensing board is behind schedule and is under manned due to budget cuts and layoffs. My advice to consumers is to do your company research and also research the sales representative. Check their online reputation by looking them up on linkedin and don’t be afraid to do your own research on social media sites like facebook. Often you can get information that is very valuable for you to make an informed decision. Ask for referrals from your friends and business associates, also research top business networking sites like BNI, which screens its prospective applicants before formalizing their membership.
In order to maintain the highest level of safety for yourself and your family steer clear of door to door salespeople and don’t let them in your home unless they produce ID that you verify with the alarm board. Call the company to verify employment and if it is a company that you’ve never heard of avoid them like the plague. If you’ve never heard of them doesn’t make them a bad company, but it should raise your level of suspicion as to whether they can and will stand the test of time. The key to safety is to use due diligence. Never be pressured into making a decision, if the deal is only good for today then it is not a good deal at all.