Are you ever harassed by the annoying door-to-door salesmen? Or are you caught in their door-to-door scams before you realize?

Truth is, if you don't know how to identify door to door scams, the chances of being scammed could be pretty high.

Today I would like to share how door-to-door sales scams work, common types of door-to-door scams in 2019 and the smart ways about how to avoid them.

(Admittedly there are legitimate door-to-door sales offering you real good stuffs, sometimes it could just be hard to say no to the determined door-to-door sales and become a victim of the door-to-door scam.)

It's my hope that this post will help you better deal with the door-to-door scams and that you may share with us some useful tips of your own!

If you are in a rush, you may check out the infographic for the essentials about door to door scams, including the most common types and how to prevent from being a victim.

Part 1: 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.

Part 2: 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.

Part 3: 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.

Watch the watch video below to see how you can inform the delivery man to drop off the package on your doorway via Reolink Argus 2.

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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 have 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

Part 4: 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 disadvantage 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 the 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 victims 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.

Part 5: 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.

  • Eva

    Someone came to my mother's door selling life insurance. Ordinarily she is very cautious about opening the door to strangers and always looks out the front window first. But this time she wasn't wearing her glasses and mistook her caller for the postman. Thinking he had a registered letter or package requiring her signature — although she wasn't expecting one — she opened the door. Now my mother is a polite Southerner with impeccable manners — most of the time. The rest of the time she is meaner than a junkyard dog! She screamed at the man to leave her the eff alone or she'd call the police. She continued yelling at him as he left her property. Was he a scammer? We don't know. She saw him to go the next house and apparently get sent away, and then he turned the corner, out of her sight.

    • Yolanda

      Hi, Eva, many door-to-door fraudsters would disguise themselves as employees with uniforms these days. According to your description, this man could be a scammer but luckily, your mother chased him away without any loss. Thank you for sharing. 🙂


    This blog was put together for you to buy their product's and camera's....! Many people already have cameras in theirs homes and many of their potential customers could even be police officer. So if they where trying to scam you they would be able to be identified by police and arrested. There job is hard as it is and they are just trying to save you money on services you already have and need.... I recently had a gentleman knock on my door saved me $70 on my cable bill and helped me to get my house insulated at no cost

  • Michael Hanna

    Great article, a lot of truthful information. I feel that you may have been scammed by someone in the past, have you? If so I am very sorry that happened to you!

    I do feel that this article is somewhat bias. In the way that there are 250,000 people plus in the US who sell door to door legitimately, to support their families. People including myself have good careers where they make 6 figures or more a year, all selling products door to door. I would like to add that there are scammers in every job title, many bloggers make up the information they post as "facts". Many large business purposefully bankrupt themselves so they can make money and screw all the shareholders. Many doctors will push medicine that patients don't need. Because the doctor gets a perk from that pharmaceutical company for pushing their products. These are Just as a few examples.

    I sell Dish Network, Sprint cell phones, pest Controll, and security systems. All of which are legitimate products that people buy and have installed in their homes. I agree that there are scammers out there, but 95% of the salesman that knock on your door are legitimate salesman. I have 30 salesman that work for me alone and most of them are students working to pay tuition. Perhaps this will help you With future research, I hope so. If you had time to read this thanks for your time!

    Caliber Smart

    • Yolanda

      Hello, Michael, thank you for sharing your ideas with us. Of course, there are salesmen knocking on doors to sell legitimate products. However, we can not deny the fact that door-to-door scams do exist. And that's why we write this post to help homeowners avoid becoming the victims of such scams. Hope this would clarify.

    • Garrett

      I also am a door to door sales person who does it full time to support my family. As Michael stated, there are scammers in every profession but they are few and far between. Most people jump to quick conclusions that something must be a scam because they never heard of the company or because of articles like this. This is written with a strong biased against door to door without stating any factual statistics of how many legitimate salesman there are versus number of scams. People need to be aware that as Michael stated, journalists will often times put whatever they want down in articles because it sounds good or seems logical because they know most people won't actually do the research themselves. There are 20 salesman and women in my office alone and we have offices all over Texas. I sell air purifiers, drinking water purifiers and water softeners and they are all very high quality products that don't carry fine print fees and charges as stated in the article. Perhaps a second perspective from someone in that field will help people understand that the chances of running into a legitimate salesman is significantly higher than a scammer, just as it is in every profession.


  • gene

    This may be a little off topic, but it's something that needs to be said.
    I answered a knock on the door. I opened the wooden door, and two young men were standing there – with my screen door wide open. I was startled by that. So was my large dog. It was hard to hold him back. Fortunately, no injuries incurred. If there were, I might have been sued. (?) Or if a pet (dog, bird, etc. had gotten out and been hit by a car or ran off, their company could have been sued.

    I regret that I did not immediately call the company to complain. Who's idea is that? Was it he young, inexperienced sales peoples’, or company's? Opening peoples doors is a bad, bad, VERY bad idea! Like I told those kids: Let people open their own damn doors.

  • Karen

    Red Cross scammer had no brochures lol I told the little witch that I'd send in donation as I was having dinner. She said no sorry I have no information ....And then she throws me the guilt trip...All your neighbors have been very generous...Ya okay!! I said no and she turned around rolled her eyes and left. I called Red Cross..Nobody got back to me. After several tries I gave up.



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