News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 16, 2014

Door-to-door security ‘checks’ are suspicious says sheriff

Tribune-Star staff report

The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A practice that targets owners of home security systems resulted in calls to police on Tuesday after someone reported a suspicious person going door-to-door in Terre Haute.

Sheriff Greg Ewing told the Tribune-Star that while the salesperson may not be a scammer trying to defraud people, the practice can take advantage of people.

Ewing said he knew of no criminal investigation into this week’s complaint, but explained that several months ago he talked to a woman subscribing to a security system who said that a person came to her door asking to check the security panel to make sure it was updated. The salesperson got approval to change the panel, and the woman signed a new service contract.

It turns out, Ewing said, that the person sold the woman a new system from a different provider when the older system from the other provider was operating fine.

Ewing likened the practice to a phone-slamming epidemic that occurred a few years ago when telephone service providers would call customers of competing companies and unwittingly change the customers phone service to a new provider.

Ewing said consumers can protect themselves by calling their current alarm provider and asking about their service if someone comes to their door offering to upgrade the system.

Consumers can also report suspect activity by going online to www., which is a service of the Indiana Attorney General.