How to Identify Door to Door Scams
Tips For Recognizing Con Artists At Your Door
You might not realize that you need to know how to identify door to door scams until you understand how easy it can be to fall for one. Con artists use special techniques that they've developed by huge amounts of trial and error. They even use well-known psychological effects to get you to act the way they want you to act.
People get taken for a ride every day. Some merely lose the amount of money they wasted on the scam, but others end up dealing with much more serious consequences, such as stolen identities.
Even if you're convinced that a door-to-door sales scam could never happen to you, it's not a bad idea to know what to look for.
What Are Your Experiences With Door-to-Door Sales? - Vote In This Poll!
Have You Experienced Salespeople At Your Door?
A Reader's Personal Scam Tale
And How To Respond
Here is MoroninMD's tale:
I had an orange magic sales man come to my door today. He was a young kid probably in his early twenties who could talk fast enough to put my head in circles. He showed me how great his product was and what it could do against all surfaces. After five or so minutes, I let him in to show how it could get up carpet stains and he tried to get me to buy two gallons of this stuff for like $120. I flat out said that it wasn't my place and I had no money and he left very easily.
However, since then, I have been thinking non-stop about who this kid could have been and just how stupid it was to let him in. It was rare for me to see these type of sellers and now I'm worried that he might have been scouting for a house to rob or something (call me paranoid). The worst part was I asked for a number or business card to get back to him and he didn't have either. He searched the bottle he was holding (claimed it was new but it was beat up pretty bad) and found a website. I tried the website and it doesn't exist.
What do I do from here? This is pretty obviously a scam but I'm worried about further repercussions. Should I contact the police or an I over-reaching?
That's definitely scary, and good thing you didn't buy! In my experience, when I called the police, they said that unfortunately they couldn't do anything because no crime had been actually committed. It never hurts to call them, though, especially if it will make you feel safer. Other steps you can take are talking to your neighbors and homeowner's association, if you have one, and just staying vigilant. Hope this helps!
Image by gkdavie on Flickr.
One Man's Tale of Woe - by Adam Brant
The tagline of this e-book is "A Gripping Tale of One Man's Journey into the Dark World of Door-to-Door Sales," which is exactly the kind of cautionary tale we need when it comes to companies luring people (often teens) into door-to-door sales with ads and promises that are too good to be true.
Door-to-Door Scams in the News - Watch and Learn!
What To Do If You Think You've Been Scammed - Check Out the BBB
This great website will help point you to the next steps to take against the offending organization.
Don't forget to also contact your local homeowner's association, landlord, police, and even the media, if you want to help others from being wronged.
- Better Business Bureau
Visit this website to find out more about questionable companies, and to file a complaint if necessary.
Food For Thought
More Door-to-Door Sales Scam Resources - Click to Visit
- Traveling Sales Crews - A National Tragedy
Unfortunately, unsuspecting homeowners aren't the only ones who suffer from door-to-door sales. The salespeople themselves, often gullible teens and young adults, can easily get tricked into this dangerous profession.
- Magazine scams: Naughty Business of the Week
Information on some companies perpetrating magazine scams, along with useful information about the "cooling off period" for door-to-door sales purchases.
A Scam? Or Not a Scam? - What Do You Think?
There are always two sides to a story. Let us know whether you think door-to-door sales are okay under certain circumstances, and why you think so.
Are Door to Door Sales Okay? When and Why?