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Door-to-Door Scams: How They Work, Common Types & How to Avoid

Door-to-Door Scams: How They Work, Common Types & How to Avoid

Are you ever harassed by the annoying door-to-door salesmen? Or are you caught in their door-to-door scams before you realize? Today I would like to share how door-to-door sales scams work, common types of door-to-door scams and the smart ways about how to avoid them. If you are in a rush, you may check out the infographic for the essentials about door-to-door scams.

Regarding a series of problems of door-to-door scams, here is what you need to notice:

Common Types Door-to-door donation scams
How to Prevent Install security cameras, etc.
Recommended Camera Reolink security cameras
Tips Say a big “No”, etc.

How Do Door-to-Door Sales Scams Work

In typical door-to-door scams, the door-to-door fraudsters would disguise themselves as employees with uniforms and badges, or college students doing part-time jobs to earn the tuition fees.

Their real aim, however, is to convince you into buying their products or service you actually don’t need.

Or worse, the door-to-door salesman burglars may try to distract your attention so that their conspirators can sneak into your house to steal from you.

Below is a door-to-door gas scam captured by the Reolink security system.

Door to Door Sales Scams

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And watch out: the main targets of door-to-door sales scams, like door-to-door cleaning products scams, are people aged 50 and above.

As these retirement-age folks are more likely to be at home to answer the door during the daytime. And their polite manners make it hard to for them to slam the door in front of door-to-door fraudsters.

What Are Common Types of Door-to-Door Scams

Remember the door-to-door salesman selling cleaners? To avoid being cheated by the door-to-door scam, like the salesman cleaning solutions, take a few minutes to look through the typical examples of door-to-door salesman scams.

Below is a list of the popular door-to-door sales scams in Las Vegas, Ireland, UK, Australia, Ottawa, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Edmonton, New Zealand, etc. Stay vigilant if you are confronted with such scenarios.

  • Door to Door Energy Scams: The salesmen ask to see your electricity bill and trick you into switching energy providers without your permission. (See more door-to-door electricity/utility scams.)
  • Door to Door Meat Scams: The complaints about door-to-door meat sales scams are not rare in America each summer. Typically the meat is of inferior quality and marked up significantly. You may be even poisoned after eating the meat.
  • Door to Door Donation Scams: Someone comes to your front door and seek for donations in certain organizations’ name, such as the Hope Center. It is also a common kind of door-to-door charity scams.
  • Door to Door Art Scams: A group of young people, claiming to be international art students, tell you that they are trying to raise funds for their tuition and art supplies by selling their own piece.
  • Door to Door Survey Scams: The door-to-door fraudsters knock on your door and claim to be taking a survey for an election or wellness checks. The door-to-door census scams are just typical examples.
  • Door to Door Home Maintenance Scams: Whether the door-to-door salesmen offer free roof repairs or free carpet cleaning, they might simply look for a chance to case your house. Don’t fall into these door-to-door roofing scams, free carpet cleaning scams, tree service scams or vacuum cleaner scams.

Besides these common door-to-door sales scams, you should also watch out for Verizon door-to-door scams, door-to-door book sales scams, door-to-door magazine subscription scams, door-to-door insurance scams, clear home door-to-door sales, and more.

How to Stop Door-to-Door Salesmen from Knocking Your Door

Imagine this: a door-to-door salesman burglar rings your doorbell without an appointment, your sleeping baby starts crying and your dog doesn’t stop barking.

Perhaps this is the most annoying thing of your day!

Luckily, though, you can take these tips to stop the door-to-door salesmen from knocking your door and thus avoid the door-to-door sales scams.

#1. Install Security Cameras to Monitor the Doorway

How many times do you regret for opening the door for someone you don’t expect, especially like the door to door salesmen selling cleaning products or other service.

With a security camera at your front door, the odds of falling for door-to-door scams can be much slimmer.

When someone like a door-to-door salesman burglar enters the monitoring area, you can receive real-time alerts on your mobile devices.

Before the salesperson knocks on your door, you can tell him to leave via the two-way audio security cameras even when you are not at home.

In this way, you can also shut off all possible door-to-door sales scams, like door-to-door pest control scams or home security scams outside your door.

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#2. Put Up Signs That Work

The quick method to avoid door-to-door salesman scams is to deliver the message clearly that you are not interested in their products or service. And putting up the following signs may work for you.

  • “No Solicitors” sign or “No Trespassing” sign
  • “Be Aware of Dogs” sign
  • “Baby Sleeping” sign
  • “Please no canvassers" or "We don't donate at the door”
  • “We actively research politics, please don't knock”
  • “This is a house of Jesus Christ, please do not knock to share your political or religious views"

You can buy these signs on the Amazon store and they are quite cheap. Making them by yourself is also not that difficult if you are a handcraft lover.

Do remember to place the signs on the conspicuous positions where they are plainly visible, such as the doorway or walkway, so that the door-to-door salesmen can easily spot them.

In both Las Vegas and Henderson, it is unlawful for a door-to-door salesperson to attempt to sell you something if you’ve posted a “No Soliciting” sign.
Takeaway: Read this to learn whether it is illegal for door to door salesmen to ignore your “No Soliciting” sign.

#3. Have a Gate or Fence to Deter Door to Door Fraudsters

A gate or fence can effectively avoid door-to-door scams by preventing door-to-door fraudsters from getting to your door or doorbell.

And this is also proved useful by the door-to-door salesmen. Listen to what they say about home fences:

“We couldn't climb fences. If all doors were behind a fence and locked gates, even short ones, we couldn't cross them.”

So if your home has a gate or has put up a fence, you will have little chance to be troubled by the door-to-door salesmen or fall for the door-to-door sales scams.
Bonus: Putting up fences is also a good way to keep the trespassing kids off your property when you are away.

Fences to Stop Door to Door Salesmen

How to Avoid Door-to-Door Scams After Opening Your Door

If you search door-to-door sales scams online, you would be lost in massive door-to-door complaints about the AT&T door-to-door scams, ADT door-to-door scams, Centurylink door-to-door scams, Verizon door-to-door scams, Directv door to door scams, Kirby vacuum door to door sales scams, Telus door to door scams and the like.

So how can you avoid becoming the next target of such door-to-door scams if you open the door for a salesman? Now learn the following tips to outsmart the door-to-door fraudsters.

#1. Say a Big Fat "No" Decisively

The burglars disguised as door-to-door salesmen won’t bypass your home even you put up the signs.

In such cases, be ready to refuse decisively before you open the door. The more time you give to the door-to-door salesmen to speak, the more likely you will end up in door-to-door sales scams.

Alternatively, you can find some good excuses to avoid the door-to-door scams, like painting or marketing scams.

For example, it is pretty common to say you were cooking Tempura, which is notorious for needing constant attention during the cooking process, so no one would think you rude for being brisk.

#2. Never Let a Salesman In

Some door-to-door salesman burglars may not lure you into the door-to-door water heater scams, door to door children's book scams, candy sales scam or door-to-door alarm scams.

Instead, they might try to enter your house and look around your home for the next-time burglary.

Don’t let the salesmen in especially you are at home alone. Shut the door or call the local police if you feel the door to door salesmen are crossing the line.

#3. Ask Detailed Questions for More Information

Some door to door salesmen are good at selling their ideas and you may be lost in their door to door sales scams like energy scams or fundraising scams within minutes.

How can you avoid such disadvantageous situation?

Hold the cards by asking more detailed questions about the identity of the salesperson. For example, ask him to show you his ID card and license, learn more about his company information, such as the location, phone number, and etc.

#4. Never Pay in Cash

Though it is best not to engage with door-to-door sales, if you really need the door-to-door products or service, well, then remember not to pay in cash.

Normally, the legitimate door-to-door sellers should provide you with a cancellation form along with the receipt. If they don't, assume you've been marked for a door-to-door sales scam.

Notice that the FTC’s Cooling-Off Rule allow you to cancel a sale made at your home within 3 business days and you can get a full refund on most purchases of $25 or more.

#5. Stay Wary of Contract Documents

One of the common door-to-door scams is that you may be offered with contract files with many hidden fees.

To avoid buyer’s remorse, give yourself enough time to read the documents thoroughly and make sure you understand each terms fully.

You may ask the door-to-door salesman to leave the document and call him back after mature consideration. Never sign any agreement when you feel pressured to do so.

6. Call the Police If Necessary

If you feel you have become a victim of certain door to door sales scams, contact your local police immediately and file a door to door scam complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

More Useful Ways to Avoid Door-to-Door Sales Scams

  • Tape up or silence your doorbell to stay away from door-to-door scams in Tuscon, Victoria, Fresco and other places.
  • Tell the door-to-door salesmen that you're a renter rather than the homeowner.
  • To prevent falling into door to door charity scams, for example, in UK, check and see if the door-to-door salesperson have charity permits. Many cities tax door-to-door non-profits and require that they have a permit from the city.
  • Use a peep hole or a window to see who is at the door prior to opening it.
  • Don't answer your door unless the visit is pre-arranged.
  • Make the door-to-door salesmen wait outside your doorway, and you can contact their company to check their identities.

Door to Door Scam Infographic

If you want to take a quick look at the door-to-door scam basics, check out the infographic below.

Door to Door Scam Infographic

Go back to the text explanation for more detailed insights.

Final Thought

Do remember that the door-to-door sales are so not so urgent that you need to make the decision at once. If you are interested in the door-to-door salesman’s product, ask him to leave the information and return later so that you have enough time to check his credentials.

But the 101 rule to avoid most common door-to-door scams is never to do business with a door to door salesperson and keep your door locked even when you are at home.

If you find yourself cheated by AT&T Uverse door to door scams, dish network door to door scams, door to door furnace scams or other forms of scams, don't hesitate to report the door to door sales scams immediately to the police.


All Comments Are Welcome

Yolanda is an editor of Reolink, and also an independent writer showing great interest in technology and art. She has studied home and business security issues for years, and always shares useful tips and tricks with her fans.