Code-busting a Pro One (or any) alarm system: A how to

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01/25/2010
One of my favorite readers sent Sam a link to this gem. It's from a column in a publication called The Consumerist. The Consumerist helps out consumers with problems. This consumer has a security problem: He bought a new house with an existing Protection One security system, but he doesn't have the code. He doesn't want to pay for Pro One to monitor his home, he just wants to arm and disarm the system. What to do? Easy. This reader says just find yourself a rogue installer.
If you are willing to pay a few dollars, hang around a local alarm installers business and just ask one of the service guys (while outside) if he does any "side-jobs." It's pretty likely that he might help you out for $25 or so
Think you'll feel weird hanging around your local alarm installer's business? It'll cost you a little more, but there are other ways to find a rogue installer:
There are plenty of ex-alarm company employees and other alarm companies. Get a different alarm company to do it or put an ad in Craigslist and pay one $50 or $100 to reset the alarm if information on how to do it isn't available on the internet on some forum somewhere.
This reader can relate, and has some observations about different alarm companies:
Exact same thing happened to me. It's a Brinks system, but I'm definitely not going to sign up with them. Their alarm systems apparently only work if its a white guy breaking in anyway (have you ever seen their commercials? - ALWAYS a white male).
And for busting the code:
They can probably google some info about the control panel for the system to find out how to reset the whole thing, or possibly even try some numbers associated with the house or the alarm company. I wanted to add a second panel in our bedroom at home without paying the original installer, so I looked them up, and tried numbers form their phone number, address, etc. Took me about 3 tries to get the master code. Kind of scary, really. :\
People often use their BIRTHDAYS (month, year) as the code - look at your closing docs, see if you can figure out the birthday of either the husband/wife you purchased from.
I found this: http://tinyurl.com/ylkbb6o hope it helps. If not, find out the model number and search google for "resetting alarm code MODEL_NUM" you may want to insert manufacturer as well.
And if all else fails:
Contact your state attorney general's off and see if they can be charged with extortion
This is something readers of The Consumerist care about, 165 people commented. Here's the whole story.