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Local woman claims she was ripped off by security company scam

Published On: Nov 07 2012 12:01:30 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 05 2012 10:50:32 PM CST
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

On Monday, our station was tipped off to a scam. 

A man who said he represents an Idaho vendor for ADT Security Systems promises to keep a customer's service calls local instead of corporate. 

The tipster said the man then transfers ADT accounts to his company, and then it's too late. 

"He just came up to me and said, 'I noticed you're an ADT customer,'" said Gabrielle Huntsman. 

Huntsman was working outside on a hot day in June when a man who said he was an ADT vendor approached her.

"Wouldn't you rather deal with a local vendor?" she recalled the man saying. 

It sounded good. The man who called himself Joel Jenkins seemed honest. Even the contract, with a local vendor called 1st American Alarms looked professional.

"Everything on it," she said. "It has his logo, the ADT logo on it. He filled it out, looking at our own contract."

This isn't the first time our station has heard about 1st American Alarms. 

In the 'Related Content' section of our website, there is a video segment from an August 9 interview with our station and Better Business Bureau Dale Dixon. 

Dixon warns against 1st American Alarms in the interview segment. 

Huntsman said Jenkins sent some men to the house the week after she agreed to do business with his company. They told her the alarm had to be reformatted to be managed with 1st American.

 "I've been testing mine," said Huntsman. "The police are supposed to be called in under 30 seconds. I left mine on for 15 minutes and nobody called to verify we were safe." 

On Halloween, Huntsman realized her alarm doesn't even work anymore. 

"You've had your bank scammed for months and nobody can do anything about it," said Huntsman. 

Upon seeing the story, Jenkins contacted our station and said everything about Huntsman's claims were false. He said at the time the contract was signed, 1st American Alarms was an ADT dealer.

He said he could refute everything Huntsman told our station. 

The 1st American entry on the Better Business Bureau site lists 22 complaints. The company has an F-rating (on a scale from A to F). The 1st American Alarm website at displays an "under construction" message. 

Jenkins said he knows 1st American Alarms has an F-rating on the Better Business Bureau website. He said if a business has more than 2 negative complaints, it will receive an F-rating. He said his company's website is being moved, and that is the reason for the message. 

On the phone on Monday, Jenkins said, "We run a legitimate business, and we try to make sure everyone is as happy as we can humanly make them." 

Our station offered Jenkins an interview, and he said he would speak to his attorney. 

Jenkins told our station 1st American Alarm is no longer an authorized ADT dealer, but was in June. 

The Bonneville County Sheriff's office said they are investigating the case. 

A spokeswoman for ADT Joel Jenkins is not an ADT employee. 

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