Better Business Bureau warns of telemarketing and door-to-door scams


ABILENE, Texas - The Abilene office of the Better Business Bureau has some new warnings for home owners.

Below is a the "E-alert" sent to consumers by the BBB in Abilene:


Summer time is alarm salesmen time and currently the city of Abilene has 32 door to door salespeople permitted to sell alarms. Some salesmen are allegedly claiming to be affiliated with 1 st Alarm Security of Abilene. 1 st Alarm Security does not solicit door to door and is not affiliated with out of state companies. BBB advises to watch out for these statistics:

Hi we here to upgrade your existing equipment… Sales crews are trained to look for homes that have existing alarms. Watch out you could end up with two contracts and two payments. Lots of name dropping, neighbors, watch groups, even your current alarm company or misrepresentation about the company they work for… Sales folks pick-up bits and pieces of info around the neighborhood and use it to make it appear they have been around town for a long time. Ask to see their Texas Department of Public Safety issued security license. Study the contract carefully noting the company name, monthly price, length of contract (most are for at least 2-5 years), and early cancellation fees. Federal Trade Commission rules allows a 72 hr. early cancellation which should be in writing and mailed to the alarm company certified return receipt requested.


Many Abilene home owners are at the end of their rope, fed up with constant phone calls offering "free" roof estimates. Some telemarketing firms hired by roofing contractors are spoofing caller Id to make it appear the calls are from local businesses and local phone numbers. Today a local restaurant and Abilene resident were victims of this "spoofing" a sub-standard business practice. Calls are even being placed to areas of town where there was no hail damage. BBB offers the following Tips:

Don't trust caller ID, names and numbers can be easily spoofed. Door to door sellers must honor No soliciting signs displayed on front doors. If they do not call Abilene police at 673-8331