23 April 2012

Northamptonshire County Council’s trading standards service is warning residents about a possible security alarm scam.

Trading standards has been contacted by consumers who have received unsolicited telephone calls from companies offering to install security systems.

Initial contact is made by cold-calling residents via telephone to arrange an appointment. However, although the security system may be free or available at a nominal cost, the ongoing maintenance costs are high and there is a cancellation fee.

Trading standards advise that consumers do not purchase security systems from companies that are cold-calling either on the telephone or at the door.

Instead, consumers who are considering investing in an alarm system should obtain quotes from at least three security companies who are subject to independent inspection by a recognised body, either NSI (The National Security Inspectorate) or SSAIB (Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board).

Councillor Ben Smith, county council cabinet member for environment said: “Any consumers who have been cold-called by companies looking to make an appointments to discuss security systems should contact trading standards by telephoning Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506.

“If consumers are interested in buying new services they can find details of reputable traders through the Buy with Confidence scheme operated by trading standards. Details of members who provide a vast array of services can be found on the contact details provided above.

“In addition any consumers who are concerned about a caller at their door or suspect that distraction burglars or rogue traders are operating in their area can call the dedicated Doorstep Crime Action Network (DAN) on 0345 23 07 702. Consumers should remember that if they “are not sure, don’t open the door”.