Tips for Dealing with Door to Door Scams
For most people, the safest and most relaxing place to be is within the walls of their own home. There, they are isolated from the rest of the world in safety. They can rest easy and recharge before having to venture outside once again. When someone intrudes on the space it can be a bit upsetting. This is especially true if the intruder is up to no good.
In today’s modern world, a lot of scammers have taken to the internet to trick and con people. Most people are aware of this fact. However, some scammers out there prefer to stick to more old fashioned methods. Door to door scams do still occur and it is important for people to be aware of this fact.
Since there are so many different scams out there, it is important for a person to learn to spot the warning signs of something being a scam. This way, no matter what type of scam they might be dealing with, they will be able to recognize the con for what it is and avoid it.
Preferred Targets for Scams
When it comes to door to door scams, there is one age group that falls victim to it more than all the others. People over the age of 60 are more likely to be targeted by, and fall victim to, these types of scams. This is due to the fact that Baby Boomers were raised to be more trusting of people and polite towards everyone. They are also the main age group that is home during the day. These are traits that scammers love to exploit in order to get their foot in the door.
When a scammer comes to the door, someone in this age group is more likely to answer the door to an unexpected guest. Meanwhile, people in later generations are more likely to ignore the knock at the door if they weren’t expecting anyone. Similarly, Baby Boomers are less likely to close the door on someone once they begin talking to them. Other generations have no problems closing the door in someone’s face.
Common Scams and Warning Signs
There are primarily two types of door to door scams that a person needs to be wary of:
- Someone ‘selling’ a product or service.
- Someone distracting the person so an accomplice can break into the house.
When it comes to selling a product or service, many scammers will dress up to play the part. They will put on uniforms and claim to be from a specific, often trusted, company. Some may even display fake badges. The goal of these types of scams is to convince the victim to pay money, or provide credit card information, for a product or service that will never be issued or delivered.
With the other type of scam, the person knocking at the door is just the distraction. He or she just wants to hold the victim’s attention, maybe even get them out of the house and into the yard, as someone breaks into the house and steals anything of value.
Just because someone looks the part or displays a badge does not mean they are legitimate. This is especially true when they knock unexpectedly on a door. Most legit companies do not send workers door to door to drum up business because they have more important things to do. When it comes to payment, no legit company will demand payment upfront, in cash. Being aggressive toward clients is a sure fire way to get bad reviews.
Tips for Avoiding Scams
The following are some tips to help identify and avoid door to door scams:
- Always ask to see identification.
- Always keep doors locked, even when home.
- Ask the person to leave their information and come back next week, giving enough time to research them.
- Be wary of people asking for payment upfront.
- Call the company of unexpected service workers to determine if they are legit.
- Don’t respond to unsolicited offers of service.
- Don’t step outside with unsolicited workers when home alone.
- Never admit to living or being alone.
- Never invite unexpected service workers inside.
- Never pay in cash for door to door services.
- Report suspicious activity to local law enforcement.
- Tell neighbors about the suspicious activity to help keep them alert too.
Don’t Get Scammed at Your Door
No one likes getting scammed, especially if the scammer comes to their front door. Home is where a person is supposed to be safe, and getting conned at the front door can make a person feel very unsafe.
While there may be dozens upon dozens of different door to door scams out there, they all have a tendency to follow the same patterns. This makes them easily identifiable, which in turn makes it easier for regular people to avoid getting conned on their own doorstep.
Have you ever encountered a scammer on your doorstep before? Do you have extra tips for dealing with door to door scams that didn’t make this list? If so, share them in the comments down below and help others stay safe while at home.