This summer season there is an increase in door to door sales through neighborhoods, and Better Business Bureau warns not all of the sales people are legitimate.
BBB's Dale Dixon says there are a few different schemes you might come across.
- Home Improvement: A contractor shows up offering to work on your home for a low cost. Fake businesses will take payment upfront and either do a poor job or never return to finish the work.
- Charity donations: By tugging at your heart strings these visitors claim to be from a nonprofit raising money or donations for those in need.
- Magazine subscriptions: Solicitors offer subscriptions for a low price and all you have to do is hand over your bank account information. The magazines never come in the mail.
- Free energy assessments: When the heat rolls in so do these scammers. They inform you that new siding or energy efficient windows will keep you cool. They promise to do the job at a fraction of the cost of competitors.
- Missed you card: Residents report finding a “sorry we missed you” card on their door after someone allegedly tried to deliver a package. The note asks them to call a number and provide personal information to claim the package. Lately, we’ve seen this happen with new homeowners.
- Voter surveys: Just in time for the presidential election this group claims to be taking a “survey,” but beware if they ask for your Social Security number.
Dixon says to avoid being taken advantage of with these door to door schemes, stay calm and don't give in to a scammer's high pressure sales tactics.
"Always ask for documentation. Anyone who solicits at your door should provide proper identification of their business and themselves. If the salesperson lacks credentials, ask them to leave. Also, read the fine print. Avoid verbal contracts and ask for a quote in writing. Be aware of any added fees that may pop up after work is completed," Dixon said.
BBB also recommends reading company reviews online and contacting local law enforcement if you suspect any criminal behavior.
For more information and to check a company's rating, visit www.bbb.org.