Be wary of "free" alarm systems

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - You're sitting at home, and the phone rings. The caller represents a home security company.

They say they'd like to offer you a free alarm system and they won't take no for an answer. "I don't think a reputable company would call somebody with the intention of getting a deal over a phone. In my opinion that is not the way to do business in any respect," said Georgia-Florida Alarm Sales Manager Reese Brookerd.

Citizens in Thomas County, mainly older folks, say they're being targeted by those types of calls. Police say callers try to pressure folks into signing up for their service. And investigators say the companies don't always provide the services they promise.

That could leave people vulnerable to burglaries. "And it not only happens here, but it happens all over. You get these companies that have a mass market mentality and their idea is if they can get you on the front end, if they put more on the front end to fall off on the back end, that's how they'll make their money," said Brookerd.

Brookerd says these companies come and go, but as soon as one leaves there is another one to take it's place.

He says because of the high crime rate, a home security system can protect you and offer you peace of mind. "There's so much theft, burglary and theft going on. But also you have the issues of physical protection you know for your family and that sort of thing is very important."

Brookerd says you should always take your time and look into an alarm company before you agree to do business with them. If you feel pressured or harassed over the phone, just hang up.

Police say you should never let a representative from any company into your home unless you've checked them out and are sure they are legitimate.

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