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Alarm Sales Alert


While alarms are an excellent means of protecting homes and business, and most companies in Virginia are legitimate, during the summer months some out of state alarm companies stretch legitimacy in an attempt to make a quick buck while avoiding Virginia’s requirements for the industry. A trend in recent years is to hire temporary workers to enter Virginia and sell alarm services door to door. Often the employees are college students hired for the summer who have been trained minimally in alarm sales but otherwise have no background in alarm sales, monitoring or services. The temporary employees frequently practice “high pressure” tactics and sell relatively inexpensive alarm systems that generate most of their cost from the monitoring fees.

The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) regulates all alarm companies and their employees, including sales staff. DCJS Investigators have recently encountered the temporary sales employees through citizen complaints in both the Tidewater and far southwest regions of the Commonwealth. The regulations pertaining to all such services are written to protect the consumer and citizens from unscrupulous persons. The Administrative Code relating to all burglar and security alarm sales employees in Virginia (6 VAC 20-171-30) states that prior to their being hired each person must submit to DCJS: completed fingerprints cards, fingerprint processing application, an applicable nonrefundable fee, and all criminal history conviction information on a form provided by the department. This regulation demonstrates the purpose of the DCJS oversight in ensuring that those persons entering a resident’s home or a business, and learning about the valuables to be protected do not have a criminal history. Each electronic security sales representative must also work for a business which is licensed in Virginia. The sales representative is required to become registered as an electronic security sales representative in Virginia as specified in the regulations.

The Virginia Beach Police Department encourages all citizens to be aware and observant of door to door sales, an increase in alarm company vehicles in the neighborhood, and hearing of high pressure sales tactics from others. If visited by a person identifying themselves as an alarm sales representative, whom you doubt the legitimacy of, do not allow them to enter your home, request to see their required DCJS issued photograph registration card and take down the information from it. If you are interested in the product, you may contact DCJS directly at (804) 786-4700 to verify the legitimacy of the representative and call them back later for an invited sales visit. If the sales person is pushy, refuses to show their registration card or otherwise acts suspicious, write down their description and that of their vehicle, and immediately call the Police Non-Emergency Number – 385-5000.

For more information on all of the private security services regulated by DCJS you may wish to visit the DCJS web site at http://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/. For more information on various recent scams and fraud schemes, please visit the Federal Trade Commission website at http://www.ftc.gov/

For more crime prevention tips, please call the Virginia Beach Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit at 385-1006.