Attorney General Ellison obtains relief for consumers targeted by unscrupulous door-to-door alarm salesman
Skyline Security Management, Inc. and Safe Home Security agree to cancel contracts while AGO enforcement action against Gary Harvey continues
Harvey, a law-enforcement target in other states, allegedly preyed on seniors and vulnerable adults in and around Stearns County
May 19, 2023 (SAINT PAUL) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced today that his office has obtained much-needed relief for Minnesota consumers in and around Stearns County who were duped into signing agreements for home security systems that did not match the description provided by door-to-door salesman Gary Harvey.
“Door-to-door salesmen and their employers are in the business of trust-building,” Ellison said. “They know they need to have your trust to sell you their products, particularly expensive products like security systems that are supposed to keep your home safe. When that trust is betrayed, it’s emotionally and financially painful. I appreciate Skyline and Safe Home taking the right step in canceling these contracts while my Office does what we can under the law to hold Mr. Harvey accountable and make things right for consumers.”
The Attorney General has a pending enforcement action against Gary Bradley Harvey for allegedly violating Minnesota’s consumer protection laws by lying to consumers in and around Stearns County, where Mr. Harvey operated. Mr. Harvey allegedly told consumers a variety of misrepresentations, including that they could cancel the security services at any time, when in fact, the consumers were locked into multi-year contracts obligating them to thousands of dollars in payments. The Attorney General alleges that Mr. Harvey first sold for Safe Home and, when terminated from that employment, was hired by Skyline, whereupon he revisited his old customers and used a number of misrepresentations to induce consumers to buy a new system. Many customers were subsequently stuck with two expensive security contracts, including one for a system no longer installed in their home.
The Attorney General alleges that Mr. Harvey specifically targeted elderly and other vulnerable adults. Mr. Harvey was previously criminally convicted of felony fraud connected to sales to the elderly in Nevada. He is subject to a pre-litigation settlement with the Iowa Attorney General regarding sale of security systems. Mr. Harvey has denied the allegations in the Attorney General’s complaint.
Skyline and Safe Home to cancel contracts
Under the terms of an Assurance of Discontinuance filed in Stearns County, Skyline will cancel any contract procured by Mr. Harvey upon receipt of a complaint from a Minnesota resident. The Attorney General’s Office has set up a Skyline claim form for harmed consumers to submit a complaint to the Office which will, in turn, be provided to Skyline for processing.
Under the terms of the Assurance of Discontinuance filed in Stearns County, Safe Home will cancel any contract procured by Mr. Harvey if a consumer reports either: (1) improper or fraudulent action on the part of Mr. Harvey during the sale of the Safe Home system; or (2) improper or fraudulent conduct during the sale of any subsequent security system and the consumer still has an active contract with Safe Home.
The Attorney General’s Office has set up a Safe Home claim form for affected consumers to submit a complaint to the Office which will, in turn, be provided to Safe Home for processing.
The Attorney General’s Office will be reaching out to consumers it has reason to believe may be eligible for relief from Skyline or Safe Home.
Concerns about door-to-door alarm-system sales
The Attorney General’s Office has long been concerned with the practices of companies that go door to door and enroll citizens into long-term alarm monitoring agreements using fine print contracts. These companies often use traveling sales agents who make unsolicited “cold calls” on homeowners and may use high-pressure and deceptive sales practices to lock consumers into long-term agreements.
The Attorney General’s Office offers tips to consumers in its “Door-to-Door Security Alarm Sales” publication. Consumers with concerns over the way an alarm system was sold to them should file a consumer protection complaint with the Attorney General’s Office by calling the Office at (651) 296-3353 or (800) 657-3787 or by filling out a complaint form online.