Some telemarketers use an underhanded sales pitch in order to peddle home security systems, implying that they are from the FBI and that break-ins had occurred nearby.
The Sales Pitch
A reader contacted us in April 2013, complaining of a phone call she received in which the caller was attempting to sell her a home security system, but the sales tactics used were quite alarming (pun intended).
Rather than simply stating their purpose for calling, this official-sounding message implied it was from none other than the FBI, stating there were “break-ins” and home invasions in her neighborhood. After these scare tactics, the salesman then offered a “free” home security system in exchange for placing a sign in the woman’s yard. This is a well-known ploy, which we have discussed here before.
Please see Free Security System For a Sign in My Yard: Scam or Legit? for a more comprehensive discussion on this scam.
We attempted to contact the telemarketer who contacted our reader. We were met with the following recording:
You have been contacted for telemarketing purposes. If you don’t want to receive these calls press any digit now. Thank you and goodbye.
Since originally posting this article, we have heard from dozens of readers who have reported these calls in area codes all over the country.
If you receive such a call, don’t let the fake “FBI” warning fool you; this is just a telemarketer. Please read our article about the “free” home security system scam before you accept any such offer.
Have you received a call like this? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.
Originally published May 3, 2013.