INDIANAPOLIS Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has filed a lawsuit against Jerome Edmond and USA Promotions for making illegal pre-recorded calls and for impersonating an ADT home security systems representative.
This marketing followed several high-profile home invasions that raised public safety concerns.
The Attorney General’s Office received nearly 160 complaints alleging that someone made automated telemarketing calls, sometimes called “robo-calls” advertising ADT security systems.
The complaints were received from 13 counties from Central and Northern Indiana, with the most from Marion, Hamilton and Hendricks.
Reportedly, the pre-recorded message stated, in part:
“This is a public safety call. Due to the rise in residential burglaries in your community ADT will be giving you a free ADT Home Security Alarm System with free installation and activation which means you pay absolutely nothing out of pocket for this security system. This promotion expires in your community this week so it’s important you return our phone call right away. You can reach us toll-free at ----.”
ADT confirmed that no one affiliated with ADT placed the calls.
“This is scamming at its worst,” Attorney General Greg Zoeller said. “Taking advantage of public fear with unsolicited and illegal robo-calls requires aggressive enforcement actions. It is encouraging that people who received these calls recognized they shouldn’t be receiving them and asked the Consumer Protection Division to help protect them from further calls or additional victimization.”
The lawsuit seeks fines and penalties and a permanent injunction against Edmond, an Illinois resident, and his unregistered company U.S.A. Promotions, for calls violating Indiana’s Telephone Privacy law and the state’s Auto-Dialer law, and for falsely representing that he was an affiliate of ADT. The lawsuit also seeks recovery of the Attorney General’s costs of investigation and prosecution.
In June, the Attorney General’s Office also filed suit against Power Home Technologies, Inc., a North Carolina home security seller. That case is still pending.
Consumers should beware of unscrupulous home security sellers who promise a “free” home security system in order to lure them into signing a long-term alarm monitoring contract.
Other common tactics of these scammers include:
Promoting a limited-time offer and pressuring you into making a quick decision on entering into a long term contract
Telling you that your current security company has gone out of business or was purchased by the salesperson’s company
Using scare tactics by telling you that there has been a rash of burglaries in your neighborhood
Consumers can register for the Do Not Call list for their residential landline, cell, VOIP or prepaid wireless numbers for free by visiting www.IndianaConsumer.com or by calling 1.888.834.9969.
Those consumers who receive an unwanted call can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office by visiting this website. You can also file a general consumer complaint at this address as well.