Dubuque couple 'slammed' by security system scammer
Written by Becca Habegger, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -
A Dubuque couple discovered they were receiving two monthly bills for one security system after a service technician they thought was legitimate duped them into receiving a bogus upgrade.
According to the Dubuque Police Department, a Dubuque couple, which the department declined to name Thursday in a media release, got a knock on their door in mid-March.
The man at the door told them he was with a security company that had "bought out" the company the couple was currently using for their home security system.
According to police, the man told them they would need to make an appointment for a service technician to update their existing system. A service technician arrived later that same day, changed a chip in the system's main panel and installed a new fire sensor.
The couple found nothing suspicious in this until they began receiving two bills: one from their old security company and one from the new one.
Both companies are legitimate security companies, Dubuque police say, and neither had "bought out" the other one.
"It seems likely that a private contractor with the second company may have been trying to reach a number or quota for systems sold and resorted to deceit in order to do so," the Dubuque Police Department's media release said.
Police liken this crime to "slamming," which is a term used to describe when phone companies lie to customers to switch phone companies or pay for services the customer doesn't need.
"To avoid becoming a victim," the release said, "always contact your current, legitimate service provider to verify the company has not been 'bought out' before agreeing to anything and/or providing any information."
Customers are almost always notified of "buyouts" and changes in service by mail or telephone, the release said, not by an unannounced visit from another company's representative.
Dubuque police are investigating the incident and talking with the Dubuque County Attorney's Office to determine whether criminal charges are applicable in this situation.
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