May 3, 2011
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster today filed suit against Pinnacle Security, LLC, headquartered in Orem, Utah, for allegedly defrauding Missouri consumers by fraudulently selling home security products and services in St. Louis County and other areas in Missouri.
“Consumers should be very cautious when approached by people selling home improvement services door-to-door,” Koster said. “Unfortunately, there are always those who will take advantage of unsuspecting consumers, but scammers should be assured that this office will aggressively pursue anyone who tries to defraud trusting Missourians out of their hard-earned money.”
Koster said Pinnacle representatives would approach consumers who had an existing home security system and falsely represent they were there to upgrade the current system. The representatives led consumers to believe that Pinnacle had acquired the company who provided their existing security system or that their existing security system company had gone bankrupt. In addition, consumers were often presented with a prepared contract that supposedly authorized system upgrades, but actually authorized installation of Pinnacle home security products.
Pinnacle made numerous, bogus promises to consumers, such as telling them their monthly bill would not increase, the system included a “panic” alarm pendant in the event the consumer fell or was injured, and the consumer would receive three months of free services. Other false promises included that the consumer’s homeowner’s insurance would pay a portion of the cost of service fees, the security system would include a “carbon monoxide” monitoring system, and the consumer could cancel within 30 days without financial penalty. When consumers discovered the deception and tried to cancel, Pinnacle would not refund their money, and, in fact, threatened legal action if they didn’t continue to pay.
Koster is asking the court to issue preliminary and permanent injunctions prohibiting further violations of the law; to require the defendant to provide full restitution to victims and pay all court and investigative costs; and to require defendant pay the state a civil penalty and an amount equal to 10 percent of total restitution ordered.