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How to Identify Door to Door Scams

Updated on September 08, 2015

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?

See results
Don't Open the Door!
Don't Open the 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?

Response:

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

Adventure, Travel, Rock-N-Roll
Adventure, Travel, Rock-N-Roll

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.

Food For Thought

 

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?

Never! Stay Away From My Door!

Never! Stay Away From My Door!

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    • Chris 7 weeks ago

      Someone, young girl at night with nothing in her hands like pamphlet or anything at my door. I only opened door because she looked like my niece at first. Luckily I had my German Shepard by the collar with me. The dog wouldn't stop barking so I had a hard time hearing the girl. It sounded like she said they were looking for people who wanted to put up students in spare rooms? Anyone heard of this?

    • Someone with sense 16 months ago

      I work in door to door sales. Obviously not all sales are scams. It is a legitimate way to make money and for me to pay for college. Companies are willing to pay me very good money because doing business face to face is still a thing, despite the fact that you have the Internet, contrary to popular belief. The main issue is that all of you are idiots and salesmen love talking about how stupid all of you skeptics are.

    • Someone with sense 16 months ago

      I work in door to door sales. Obviously not all sales are scams. It is a legitimate way to make money and for me to pay for college. Companies are willing to pay me very good money because doing business face to face is still a thing, despite the fact that you have the Internet, contrary to popular belief. The main issue is that all of you are idiots and salesmen love talking about how stupid all of you skeptics are.

    • anonymous 2 years ago

      There isn't a single legitimate business that sells products door to door, it just isn't legitimate business practice anymore, anyone who thinks it is was raised in decades before technology. If someone knocks on your door selling something, and you think you might be interested, immediately tell them you'll do your research online and check them out. In the 10 years I have owned my own home, I have checked out every door to door sales company that has come to my door and every single one of them produces search results online that they are scams. Don't trust me, do it for yourself. Check out the next one that comes ot your door and I promise internet search results will yield plenty of negative scam comments. Buying stuff online isn't much better but at least you don't have to deal with the people on three, you have no one to blame but yourself if you follow an online scam. Oh and the BBB is one of the biggest scams of all, Do a search about their bsiness practices and you will see how they conduct their own scam business. A much better way of thinking is never to trust a company that has a BBB rating.

    • anonymous 2 years ago

      I have 3 separate "NO SOLICITING" signs between the sidewalk and my front door. They don't even phase these guys. They usually come up with " I'm not soliciting, I am in a contest..." Or, sometimes, I am representing the Church..."

      You should not even answer the door if you see them coming.

    • anonymous 3 years ago

      "A few bad apples" is unfortunately true in this scenario. Why would any reputable company expect a customer to risk opening their door to a stranger with the risk of scams and violence? I don't accept " I didn't have a choice but to sell door to door". If you still believe that you will probably be selling door to door again soon. Life is nothing but choices and sometimes the only one you get is how your going to play a bad hand. I don't even answer my door, I call neighborhood security and have them removed. Most HOA's prohibit solicitation.

    • anonymous 3 years ago

      A door to door salesman is a representative of a disgusting organization willing to train and send someone to harass me at home, in person. So whether or not they are good people, if they are OK making their living doing such disgusting things, they are NOT OK with me. There is no such thing as respectful door-to-door sales. If you are harassing me at home for money, unsolicited, then even if you pretend to be polite, you are being unforgivably rude.

    • kevinfream lm 4 years ago

      This is a hold over from the past and plain needs to go away.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      I can buy stuff @ stores or online. I don't need people bothering me in my home.

    • Tony Bonura 4 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      I always tell every one of them NO. I go on to tell them that if they would send me a letter about their organization that I will consider contributing that way. I do not give out my address. It's on the mailbox I tell them.

      TonyB

    • Tony Bonura 4 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      I always tell every one of them NO. I go on to tell them that if they would send me a letter about their organization that I will consider contributing that way. I do not give out my address. It's on the mailbox I tell them.

      TonyB

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      We just had one about 20 minutes ago. NIcely-dressed young man in his early twenties. Would not take "no" for an answer until my Marine husband came to the door and told him to leave. Called the police. He didn't even have a permit. They went and picked him up. This is a small community. They don't let this crap slide here.

    • Appollonia 4 years ago

      I keep it simple. If I don't know who you are, you don't come in. Most of the time I don't even open the door, but talk through the window. I didn't invite you over and have no problem with not being all "neighborly."

    • l-may 5 years ago

      I don't open my door to someone I don't know. Mostly I see meat door to door salesmen. I've been told to avoid them because of cost, and no guarantee of meat quality.. If it's no good, you can't return it.

    • SecondHandJoe LM 5 years ago

      not without an appointment-unless if it's for Girl Scout cookies!

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm tired of "organizations" like www.teenleaders.com dropping teens off in my neighborhood to brazenly go up to doors, ask for money without any explanation of who or what they are collecting for & getting angry if you question them. After looking into this place I doubt any of them can explain it at all. The website screams scam & I hate that children are being used. Who do I report to? Cops won't help.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      never

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      I call the Code Enforcement officer at city hall. He comes right over and confronts the person while they are working my street. We voted a law in that door to door anything is not allowed without a business license from the city. That just stops them cold in their tracks.

    • RuthMadison 5 years ago

      I hate door to door sales, even when it's barely a scam. Like high school kids who come to convince me to buy a newspaper to help them go to college. Last time I wrote a check so that I wouldn't have a continuing relationship with the newspaper, the kid (of course) swore I'd never have to pay more than the ten dollars. I started getting invoices in the mail from the newspaper. Grrrrrrr.

    • AbhinavB LM 5 years ago

      Its like because of few scammers, all of them suffer... Still, I don't want to be scammed or worst ... get assaulted by some con artist....

    Door to Door Sales Aren't All Bad.

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      • anonymous 2 years ago

        If a product is one that you are thinking of buying ,then the door to door sale is ok.

      • williamslaw 2 years ago

        Door to door sales aren't all that bad, you just need to be careful, that's all.

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        Man look, I was a door to door salesman 4 3 years and there is one thing I learned is that its what you say its how you say it and if anybody has ever been bothered by a pushy salesman well there being taught wrong... our boss would jump right down our throats if we were ever a little disrespectful so don't be such an asshole to the salesman if he isn't forcing anything, being rude if he's showing you respect show him respect

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        Don't blame the kids knocking on your door. I sold magazines. I had no choice, without the job I would have been homeless. It is easy to get wrapped up in bad business when you're down on your luck. They don't hire kids who are well off, they aim for the downtrodden to take advantage of them. Once they get you started you "jump" to a new state, and if you want to quit, they will literally just drop you off with nothing. I'm not trying to tell you to buy what they're selling, but don't treat them like crap. It's emotionally exhausting, they have to work in all conditions (I got walking neumonia knocking doors in 15 degree weather), they don't eat well, and they probably have no other choice. You can say no without being a shitheel.

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        Yes i think they are ok , they are working hard out there. They are working in any condition and also putting themselves in risk walking around .

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        I went door-to-door for an environmental organization. Our goal was to educate the public on the health and environmental issues in the state that could impact them. I had many people slam the door in my face and threaten me thinking i was selling something or that it was a scam. Because this was a non-profit org we only worked on donations at the door. By law as a non profit we do not need to carry permits but we do carry a piece of paper from the police stating that we will be in the area. We also have a legit website and give out our full address to ALL of our locations and phone numbers. We also carried extra information on the issue and about our org. If someone still was not interested then we left. We didn't push the issue on someone because we are not there to convert we are there to educate. So if you see someone with a clipboard outside your house don't jump to conclusions right away listen to there "rap" ask for some more info if need be or if they have a website and ask if they can stop back later in the day. We are only in a neighborhood that day and once a year so we can only come back that night and we will be glad too. All im saying is that there are some honest people out there who are just trying to do good in the world and that you should be nice and ask some questions if your skeptical and if you don't want to give simply say no thank you and possibly offer them a water or a snack because its hard work!

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        Many individuals who are selling things door-to-door are completely honest and have a tough job. However, not all are, and some want to do more than just to get you hopelessly addicted to infernally scrumptious cookies. A number of door-to-door cons are being reported nationwide, so the amount of them active in many areas might be growing. Some people end up needing installment loans to get by until the month is over after a scam. visit personalmoneynetwork.com

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        This "survey" is biased to start - the selection should not be "door to door sales aren't all bad", the option should be "door to door sales are a great way for companies to sell". Sometimes a person wonders just how screwed up people have become when their house is now "their private hidey hole" rather then "their palace". If half these negative, paranoid freaks had their way the only place you could buy something is at walmart. Wow, what a people raised to eat at McDonalds and buy most of their crap from China have become. The world would be a better place if all local business participated in this practice, and if they did then perhaps there wouldn't be "closed" signs on so many businesses. Business that sat without customers, waiting for them to walk through the door, instead of going out and finding them.

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        They obviously are okay. Door to Door sales are a method of getting a product or service to an end consumer who are by nature too lazy to go out and find the product themselves. Anyone who would reject a Door to Door sales approach without at least hearing out the person giving it is cheating themselves out of a legitimate opportunity and should be ashamed of themselves, Paranoia makes fools out of intelligent people, Door to Door salespeople are soon of the hardest working people

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        In a way I suppose I am. I sell AVON however I do totally understand why people are so scared. I totally get it. I always pushed the books through older peoples doors so I do not scare them. I knock on to collect if no answer I write a little note saying '' I am the local AVON lady'' with my number :) I don't keep going back because they may be scared or just not want it! I don't ever push or force people into buying avon!

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        I'm a cable.door to door sales person and work for a fortune 500 company doing so. We are not scam artists.just trying to promote our service as well as inform you of our prices. When someone comes to your door ask for proper identification, check to see if they have marketing materials businesscards a uniform etc. If that all checks out you should give us a chance.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        I say I've been selling door to door 9 years. We are not all bad people

        Simply warning an honest living! I enjoy re freedom of being out and about. A social butterfly. Every thing you have must be sold. People don't only get ripped off at the door! And yes I was a three time trip winner selling magazines. Great program, it taught me sobriety,discipline, and how. To be a winner as well as a leader. I now sell wholesale food that people love when they try it and it saves them money on better quality! I buy any thing that comes to my door. Most of the time I just give the kids a twenty and tell them thanks for at least working and trying to earn a living.

        They are a blessing to enlighten your day with witty one liners. Missionaries are just the same with another product or goal in mind. So smile an quit being that miserable Mr. And Mrs. Jones offer a coke or food. It takes a lot of energy to be a winner!

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        What's wrong with you people? Not everything is a scam. Some of these companies are legit and looking to expand their clientel. Don't be so closeminded. Try something new. Watch out for contracts without trying the product- but don't be so high and mighty. U just might like what they have to offer. And u might get a greatt deal. Also the people working door to door are just trying to make a living, give them a chance, you don't have to say yes but don't be a jerk.

      • muffin_man 5 years ago

        It really depends on a lot of factors, but as a rule of thumb I try to minimize my contact. Its also important to note that you can place a credit report fraud alert if you get suspicious and think your identity has been compromised.

      • jstarley 5 years ago

        I think it depends on the situation. I love to help local students and organizations, but I think it's wrong for companies for bring in a group of sales people from across the country and to drop them in your neighborhood. It ruins it for valid local groups trying to fund raise.

      • shandigp 5 years ago

        Come to think of it, in the above story just because the person lied doesn't make the thing a scam. If they got their magazine subscription then it WASN'T a scam. Unfortunately the sale girl lacked character.

      • shandigp 5 years ago

        Stay safe but don't judge everyone!

      • LouisaDembul 5 years ago

        Some people actually sell good stuff. I never open the door when I am alone,though.

      • Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

        I only will say yes to children I know. How can you turn a Girl Guide down or the little boy from next door who is collecting bottles. Other than that I don't want door-to-door salesmen. That era is gone. (Maybe with the failing economy it will be back.) We'll have to deal with it then.

      • Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

        I don't like door-to-door sales but as a small publisher I know how hard is to reach a costumer when the all good locations are occupied by big companies who every day invent new tricks to destroy their weaker competition. So I am not against small business, but I am strongly against scammers of all sorts.

      Do You Have a Door-to-Door Sales Story to Tell? - Share It Here!

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        • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

          Lisa Marie Gabriel 7 years ago from United Kingdom

          No, although someone I thought was a friend perpetrated a fraud with cheques he stole from a drawer but that's another story. I think this a a very useful lens, so giving it 5!

        • oztoo lm profile image

          oztoo lm 7 years ago

          No I haven't but very worthwhile advice here.

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          roadroamer 7 years ago

          No door to door scams here. We don't have that many solicitors luckily. Thanks for sharing this.

        • Shades-of-truth profile image

          Emily Tack 7 years ago from USA

          Very helpful, and unfortunately, a lot of us have been taken! 5*s here!

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          anonymous 6 years ago

          RE: How to Identify a Door-to-Door Sales Scam.

          For the hard cold reality of over 300 high profile felony crimes and 86 documented deaths in the door-to-door sales industry please review our websites:

          Sincerely,

          Phil Ellenbecker

          Director

          Dedicated Memorial Parents Group

          www.travelingsalescrews.info

          www.dedicatedmemorial.org

        • PastorKay profile image

          Pastor Kay 6 years ago

          How to Identify a Door-to-Door Sales Scam? He knocks on your door, and he's over age 10.

        • profile image

          anonymous 6 years ago

          Thanks so much for the info - very nice job on the door-to-door scams! It makes me wonder about some of the kids and young adults that have come to my own home.

        • VarietyWriter2 profile image

          VarietyWriter2 6 years ago

          Nicely done, very informative, good tips. Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

        • emmaklarkins profile image
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          emmaklarkins 6 years ago

          Thank you WeddingZazzle! And glad everyone liked the info!

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          anonymous 6 years ago

          Shy Enterprises (Ann Arbor, MI), Kirby vacuum sales - Where is the media coverage?

          I agree with the person that had the experience with Shy Enterprises. They are pushy, liars, and very rude sales people.

          I have seen tons of door-to-door salesman in my neighborhood this year. When they come to my door, I get their info and chase them off. Then I check these companies out on the Internet. I just had Shy Enterprises and Direct Energy at my door step. Not the only companies using our children to peddle their products. In my area, I have only seen young adults peddling these companies products. Is this a nationwide epidemic? Is this the new way our kids are being victimized simply because they turned 18? Is this only happening in my area or around the country?

          Decent companies do not sell door-to-door. Kirby only sells door-to-door. Hmmm. If you check out Kirby there are all kinds of nationwide reviews on the distributors cheating the consumer and employees in all kinds of ways. Where are the investigative reporters? Kirby is a large company and expanding internationally. Why isn't this top in the headlines of newspapers? Am I the only one seeing this going on in my area?

          Shy Enterprises is part of Kirby vacuums. Nationwide issues with Kirby distributors recruiting young adults to do dirty work and many unhappy customers. Most of all the Kirby distributors have bad ratings and are not accredited with the BBB. What is happening here?

          We teach our kids to watch out for bad people. We monitor sex offender lists to further protect our kids. Then we send them out in the world to get a job and be independent. As parents, these companies know there are limits in what a parent can do to protect the kids after 18 years of age.

          Reporting to authorities is one way to stop this. More needs to be done. Parents need to organize pickets against these companies and put them out of business. Everyone should be upset with this newest scam. MADD is out there. Where is the organization to bring this to the public's attention. Am I really the only one seeing this????????

        • jgelien profile image

          jgelien 6 years ago

          I live in such a rural area that I don't get door-to-door salesmen but I have elderly neighbors that were targeted by a telephone sales scammer.

        • The-Java-Gal profile image

          The-Java-Gal 6 years ago

          This subject deserves discussion. Working with the BBB for a couple of years, I know a lot of the current scam stories. All I can say, we ultimately have the responsibility of being the savvy consumer. If sales people are pushy, and need a decision on the spot, just say no. Legitimate sales professionals will give you the time you need to make a decision. And a final word of advice, you can simply say, "Give me your card, I always check every business out with the BBB before I do business with that company." Great lens - thanks for sharing.

        • SueM11 profile image

          Sue Mah 6 years ago from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

          I have had door to door sales person say I have won a prize and would like to give it to me. I tell them to leave it at the front gate and I will pick it up later. They often insist on bringing it in and reassure me they are genuine. When I refuse to budge they leave without leaving the free gift behind!

        • profile image

          anonymous 6 years ago

          It is NOT OK to sell door to door anymore, unless these people have an appointment with you and you are expecting them. I have had TWO fraudulent instances within two weeks of each other, and am now frankly frightened for my safety. I just moved to a suburban area, nice enough, but three "magazine salespeople" came to my door on two separate occasions. Both times, they (eventually) asked to come inside my home. The first time, I was caught off-guard when the kid asked to use my bathroom, after I declined his mag subscriptions. He was in there for a long time, and I could HEAR him opening and closing my closet and vanity doors. And you can hear when people "do their business" in this particular bathroom; this guy did NOT. He was clearly in search of meds or anything of value. I didn't have much in there worth the aggravation, so I got the kid out of the house, locked the door, and then checked the bathroom. Seriously, this is DANGEROUS GROUND.

          These "kids" say they are trying to raise money for college, charity, or trips. They attempt to be funny and talkative--in the process, they are really trying to get information out of you with the questions they ask (personal info, maybe about when you are home, if your husband is home during the day, what you do for a living, etc.). They get you to talk about yourself; put you on a pedestal and let you have the spotlight. In the meantime, they are making a mental file on you. They get your name and address, if you let them. They pry on peopleâs wanting not to be rude, and they dig for information, all while hiding it behind clever, funny stories and anecdotes. Best defense is not to answer the door unless you know who is ringing. Seriously. Please learn from my mistake. The next time, I am taking their pictures through the front window and reporting them. I have researched this online, and there are many, many door-to-door scams out there, where people are getting their identities stolen, their bank account or credit card info used, personal household items stolen, and worse, people have been raped and murdered. Tell everyone you know this story. Donât let it happen to you.

        • ajgodinho profile image

          Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

          I've experienced door-to-door sales and have had a positive experience with them, but that was years back. I'd be quite leery with that sort of marketing now. I haven't seen one in years now, but maybe most of them have moved to the online world. But I'm sure they are still out there, so this is a great lens to educate people who may be experiencing this sort of marketing. Great job! **Blessed by a Squid-Angel**

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          WebIsFun 6 years ago

          Well, as a kid I sold girl scout cookies door-to-door ... boy it was hard. I see they got to shopping plazas now -- MUCH easier! :)

        • ICanCook profile image

          ICanCook 6 years ago

          I was sitting in my bedroom in my comfy chair last week, chilling out, Squidooing or some such thing when someone persistently rang my doorbell. I responded and tried to explain that this was a a very bad time but he insisted on getting in what he had to say. I firmly shut the door on him. Was I rude? I felt no remorse.

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          Stephen Carr 6 years ago from Corona, CA

          AT&T sent 2 people by on different days, claiming we had asked for an upgrade. NOT! Second person I told them if ATT sends one more, we are canceling them. They were really pushing that uverse thing.

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          Pete Schultz 6 years ago

          I've tried to tell sales people that I don't want to talk to them, or let them in, but some have succeeded, truly the motivated I guess....anyway, I'm pleased to say I've never bought anything, and have no plans to in the future.

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          anonymous 5 years ago

          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?

        • emmaklarkins profile image
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          emmaklarkins 5 years ago

          @anonymous: 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!

        • jackieb99 profile image

          jackieb99 5 years ago

          No story to tell, but thanks for the tips!

        • UKGhostwriter profile image

          UKGhostwriter 5 years ago

          Excellent lens! - well done

        • emmaklarkins profile image
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          emmaklarkins 5 years ago

          @UKGhostwriter: Thanks! Glad you found something useful!

        • greetingcardsinfo profile image

          greetingcardsinfo 5 years ago

          Great lens

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          anonymous 5 years ago

          I was a door-to-door salesman. It is not the correct path to head down when looking for success. Dangerous is the only word I can use to describe the industry. http://www.amazon.com/Adventure-Travel-Rock-N-Roll...

        • emmaklarkins profile image
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          emmaklarkins 5 years ago

          @anonymous: Wow. It looks like a great resource! Thanks for taking the time to share your story, I'm sure it will save people from danger and heartbreak.

        • profile image

          BeyondRoses 5 years ago

          When I was a child, we lived about 10 miles outside of town. My Mom bought a number of things from door-to-door ... a vacumn cleaner, and several large sets of encyclopedias. Each one had 20 to 30 volumes. We had a Fuller brush man, a milkman, and a drycleaning man! There were some big time scammers back then, but some were a handy service. When I was a teen Mom bought two lovely watches on a chain. Neither one ever seemed to run, but the guy gave me a job tip, where I worked till I married.

          Today, I let no one in, and listen to no one that comes door-to-door. Have had some bad experience with one of the worse kind, the traveling sales crews.

        • emmaklarkins profile image
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          emmaklarkins 5 years ago

          @BeyondRoses: Too bad we have to worry so much about these kinds of things nowadays!

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          Sabrina Rae Rhoads has been convicted 5 times for Felony Idendification Theft, this is a matter of public record at the Lane County Courthouse in Eugene Oregon. Sabrina Rhoads, convicted felon, is now selling vacuum cleaners door to door. 1st. she gains your trust then the next thing you know usually months later your identity and other personal information has been stolen and your out hundreds if not thousands of dollars. So Beware.

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          anonymous 5 years ago

          @anonymous: yes stay the hell away from this crazy lying,manipulative, thieving bitch.

        • franstan lm profile image

          franstan lm 5 years ago

          Blessed by a visiting Squid Angel

        • emmaklarkins profile image
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          emmaklarkins 5 years ago

          @franstan lm: Thank you!

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          anonymous 5 years ago

          be careful of door to door salemen! Read here to educate yourself and the ones you love. Door to door scams education

        • TolovajWordsmith profile image

          Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

          We tried door-to-door sale with our books and it was not successful. Web is better place!

        • LaraineRoses profile image

          Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

          Mum and dad had just had their new vacumn about 6 months. Another salesman came to the door and told them that their old one (a Rainbow) might electrocute them as it filtered the dust through water. Mum and dad fell for it .. how I don't know as they were not stupid. Just a fast talker that pretended to be their best friend. Of course, he took the Rainbow off their hands too. People who prey on the elderly are not nice!

        • emmaklarkins profile image
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          emmaklarkins 5 years ago

          @TolovajWordsmith: I second that! Higher returns and usually more effective!

        • emmaklarkins profile image
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          emmaklarkins 5 years ago

          @LaraineRoses: That's terrible! It's definitely people like that who give door-to-door sales a bad name.

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          anonymous 5 years ago

          I have a tendency to talk and act very slowly when dealing with salesmen, it definitely derails their sales techniques. However you have to be careful not to agree by complacency. But a few specific rules can help prevent any scams. If I answer the door to a salesman all of our conversation will take place outside of the front door (clearly my dog would like to eat him). Secondly, I never make a decision about money on my own (my wife must be informed). Third, I'm always suitably unimpressed by any 'magic' (I.e. today I sent an Advantage Wonder cleaner salesman on his way because I knew more about the limitations of organic cleaners than he did, and I wonder who tells them it's safe to ingest).

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          julieannbrady 5 years ago

          OMG! This is such an important warning and good advice for the elderly who are home most of the time and too often, preyed upon by door-to-door scammers. Just yesterday I had my door bell rung! ;) It was the home security people telling me that there had been break-ins in my zip code. And that they were doing courtesy warnings, door-to-door. Hmmm, I thought. "Not in my neighborhood?" I asked ... "No" she said. Well, I'm putting a couple of bullets into my gun. Thanks for dropping by.

        • emmaklarkins profile image
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          emmaklarkins 5 years ago

          @julieannbrady: I'm glad to spread the word! You can never be too careful.

        • LouisaDembul profile image

          LouisaDembul 5 years ago

          I let in a guy selling vacuum cleaners, and he wouldn't leave until I lost my temper! I exploded when he poured dirt on our sofa and told my husband to clean it up!

        • Paul Ward profile image

          Paul 5 years ago from Liverpool, England

          "Doing a bit of work down the road and I noticed you had a few roof tiles lose. They could come down next time it';s windy and kill someone". One of the classics.

          Police in most countries won't help - if you can, as the author said, tell ny neighbourhood group (Neighbourhood Watch in England), Can also be worth warning local clergy.

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          anonymous 5 years ago

          I am a door to door sales man I have been doing it for a while. Unfortunately there are a lot of con artists that give us a bad name. Some of the things I have read on here that they say con artists do are things I do but never have i scammed somebody. I have met and reported con artists that were even proud of what they did and the things you want to really watch out for is I.D. representation, and how long the company has been around watch for those and you will more than likely be fine. I invite any of you who have questions about things email me this is my personal email I have been around the block a bit and I can tell you most of what you need to know. jordanhpoulsen@gmail.com just please don't message me just to annoy me. That is all I ask, but I do like to help.

        • Mistl profile image

          Mistl 5 years ago

          It is so sad that we have to be this paranoid about people knocking on our doors, but I guess such are the times. I had a fire inspector knock on my door a couple of weeks ago. He asked for entry into my apartment so he could check out the firealarms and whether I had a fire extinguisher. After he had left I felt it was really weird that I hadn't been notified by my landlord and I started to really worry, whether he had been scouting my home. He returned an hour later with the fire extinguisher I had been missing, but hmmm you never know. Thanks for putting together this lens, unfortunately this is something we all need to be aware of.

        • shandigp profile image

          shandigp 5 years ago

          Roof salesmen in the U.S. are primarily door-to-door sellers, as are certain other industry salepeople. Stay safe, but plenty of people are legit, so don't judge them. Don't let them inside, maybe, and stay wary, but don't jump to conclusions.

        • shandigp profile image

          shandigp 5 years ago

          @Paul Ward: That's actually how most roofers work. They either are working on someone else's house and visually inspect nearby homes for possible leads or they drive around neighborhoods that have had bad storms in the last year doing visual inspections. If they offer to do a free inspection it's probably fine. Your insurance company will do a second inspection to verify the roof needs replacing. If it doesn't they won't pay for it, plain and simple, but they will if it has damage. I have two friends who work for two different roofing companies, and one of those friends has worked for 3 different roofing companies over his career. One of those friends I would trust my life with; the other I'd trust my dog with

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          fullofshoes 5 years ago

          Have I told you about my 1985 Rainbow vacuum cleaner? Lesson of a lifetime. I feel silly even saying so! This is a wonderful lens Emma.

        • KathyBatesel profile image

          KathyBatesel 5 years ago

          I've had the magazine sellers, the orange cleaning products come to my door, painters and landscapers (some of the tree trimmers are legit, at least!) along with those trucks that offer great prices on meat cuts (which have usually been stolen from a distributor and drove up costs for consumers everywhere.) I agree completely with #10 on your list. A lot of young people don't realize they're participating in scams when they agree to work for these unscrupulous companies.

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          robertclarke 4 years ago

          Each door-to-door sales person is different. In every business there is always going to be a bad apple that gives everybody else a bad name and the same applies in this career choice. However, there are many good, honest and polite people out there that are trying to make a living and want to genuinely help people and they certainly outnumber the bad people. My advice is to use your own judgement. Never commit to anything if you feel under pressure - this could be if someone says they are only in the area once, its now or never etc. Always check their ID and remember if you say to someone to leave your house, they legally have to oblige.

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          anonymous 4 years ago

          I am currently a door-to-door fundraiser for a downtrodden woman who is a friend and neighbor. I explain to people that I am trying to help her keep her pets because she cannot afford the expense. So, I ask for dog or cat food. I also explain that I help pay her utility bills and if the people can help with a check written to one of the utility companies that would be nice. I don't ever ask for cash but sometimes I receive it. People still think I am running a scam. They explain that I could change the amount on the check or do something illegal with their routing number Sometimes I get more than enough checks and the excess goes to help other people having trouble meeting their bill obligations. I am not a charity. I am just a friend choosing not to sit around but to actively help this friend of mine. Most people I talk to aren't very enthused with me knocking on their door but the few that help I'm thankful for, it makes what I'm doing seem worthwhile and enjoyable. Sometimes it's scary out there. Some do-gooders from the neighborhood are upset that I knocked on their parents' door and demand that I leave the neighborhood. Some call the cops and the cops come and tell me to scram. Some seem downright perturbed as if a one minute interruption oin their life is killing them. Some don't even care and just dig in their pocket for a few dollars without looking even at my literature. Some want to get involved and help out more. Some want to help but can't. The bulk are not even home (or don't come to the door). I love all people. Some frighten me and some make my day. I just wish I didn't have to do this. There's gotta be a better way.

        • tonybonura profile image

          Tony Bonura 4 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

          No I don't because as I said in the survey above, I tell all of them No.

          TonyB

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          Stephen Bush 4 years ago from Ohio

          I think of politicians as door-to-door salespeople as well with their own particular scams!

        • rasnasah profile image

          rasnasah 4 years ago

          very informative ..Great

        • Lady Lorelei profile image

          Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

          I hate when people come to the door looking for donations because it really is difficult to tell who is real and who is not.

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          UKBusinesses 3 years ago

          This is an excellent lens, I worry about older members of my family and this sort of thing. Will definitely be spreading the word.

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