15 DISCOVERED: Scammers recruiting Simplx customers?

15 DISCOVERED: Scammers recruiting Simplx customers?

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The owners of Simplx Security in Fort Wayne are hoping to raise awareness about a scam that is affecting their customers.

They reached out to WANE 15 and 15 Finds Out to spread the message.

Recently, the company received calls from customers saying that someone from another company had come to their door claiming that the company they worked for wanted to acquire Simplx.

These individuals told Simplx customers that they did not need to sign up with them, but that their Simplx equipment would eventually be deactivated if they did not. They encouraged people to sign up for an account and allowed them to install some of their own equipment while they were in town.

Nate Routsong, who founded the company in 2005 with his wife Tara, even encountered one of these salespeople when he received a call from a customer saying a salesperson was at her door.

Routsong told WANE 15 that he went to help the customer alone, but when he saw the man on the sidewalk, he stopped and pretended to be a Simplx customer while recording the conversation.

In the recording, where the other person is not visible, you hear them say: “That’s exactly what we’re doing. So Simplx is being bought.”

“Some of it was shocking, some of it was infuriating,” Routsong said. “It’s just very disheartening and very disturbing to us, that these people can go door to door and a product that is supposed to bring peace of mind, you know, safety, security to a family, is instead predatory in nature.”

Nate and Tara said they have dealt with scammers trying to influence their business before. They even sought help from the Better Business Bureau Serving Northeast Indiana, which they were accredited with in 2008.

The BBB added a warning to Simplx’s profile, stating: “Simplx Security LLC will never come to your door without a scheduled appointment. Consumers are encouraged to verify the identity of technicians and any requests for updates or changes to their security systems. Consumers with questions or concerns about upgrades or changes to an existing account or security system should call Tiffany at (260) 482-7233.”

Rick Walz, president and CEO of BBB Serving Northeast Indiana, told WANE 15 that Simplx did the right thing by coming to WANE 15 to spread the message.

While phishing scams and other online scams are much more common today, door-to-door scams still exist. Walz said people really need to be wary of any type of solicitation they come across.

“You have to be skeptical. You have to ask questions,” Walz said.

He explained that people should always do everything they can to verify that the message they receive is legitimate, starting with calling the company itself.

The Routsongs encourage their customers to call them at any time if they have any questions.

“I think awareness is huge. I think it’s just making our customers and people in the neighborhoods aware that these people are coming through and they can be very misleading and they need to do their research,” Tara said.

They are afraid that more customers will emerge who have been scammed. At the same time, they are frustrated by this problem and how far it has gone this time – with people representing another company saying that Simplx is being bought out.

“There’s competition and then there’s fraud. And I think the line has been crossed,” Routsong said.

WANE 15 does not name which company the door-to-door salespeople, whose details were verified through recordings of customer conversations provided to 15 Finds Out, say they work for.

WANE 15 reached out to the company in question to seek clarification, but had not received a response as of the time of this report.

The Routsongs are trying to fix this problem, saying they have wasted time and money trying to get customers back on track. This includes repairing Simplx equipment that they say was broken by representatives from the other company.

They want their customers to know that they are a local Fort Wayne company, that they have not been acquired and that they have no plans to leave anytime soon.