Local News

Durham police warn of door-to-door security sales scam

Posted July 4, 2012 8:41 p.m. EDT
Updated July 4, 2012 11:40 p.m. EDT

Durham police are warning residents to be aware of a possible door-to-door scam involving people claiming to be with alarm companies.

Investigators say they've received several reports recently in which a so-called salesperson claims to be selling security systems of offering existing customers upgrades.

Residents say they've also been visited by people claiming to be from an alarm company telling them they need their systems upgraded or repaired. In those cases, the visitors also references break-ins in the area.

Police say they don't have a specific number of incidents nor descriptions of any possible suspects. But they say they've received reports of the possible scam in the Old North Durham, Lakewood and Forest Hills neighborhoods. They've also had calls on Collier Road near Old Chapel Hill Road and Down Street.

The Federal Trade Commission, which warns of such scams on its website, urges people to be cautious and to always ask for proper identification before allowing someone they don't know into their homes.

Durham police say that most reputable alarm companies do not go door-to-door to solicit business. If there are questions about the validity of such a call, they urge residents to call the company to verify using a number they've gotten independently from the so-called salesperson.

Residents can also ask to see a city vendor permit or privilege license.

Another tip from police: Don't provide personal information, and call 911 for any suspicious activity.