There are many wonderful things about the summer, but the wonderful weather can bring hazards as well. One of the troubling things that homeowners need to look out for during summer, even as it comes to a close is the outbreak of scammers who prey on homeowners. To avoid falling victim to one of these con artists, follow this guide to identifying and avoiding door-to-door scams.
Home Improvement Scam
One of the most common door-to-door scams is the home improvement scam. In this scam, con artists will knock on victims’ doors with news that they have spotted damage to their home. They most commonly say that they have noticed damage to the roof. The scammers will offer to repair the damage to the home at a discount in exchange for a cash payment up front. Never pay for a contractor’s services up front in order to avoid this scam.
The Alarm Upgrade Scam
If you have a sign in your yard that alerts would-be burglars that your home is protected by a security system, then you may well have to deal with this scam at some point. The con artists search for these home security signs, and then they knock on the door with the news that they can upgrade the home’s alarm system for a fee. Be skeptical! Your current alarm company would normally contact you through our preferred method – phone, email, letter, etc. – to discuss potential upgrades rather than showing up unannounced on your doorstep.
Easily the most common door-to-door scam is the fake charity scam. These scams are very popular because they prey on the natural tendency of most people to do good. These scammers are clever at creating charity names that sound like real charities, but they also sometimes simply pretend to be from real charities.
It is best to simply never give money to people who are soliciting door-to-door for charities to avoid getting scammed. If you feel you really want to help, ask the solicitors for literature that shows an 800 number or website that you can go to. This will greatly reduce the chances that you get scammed.
Another way that scammers prey on victims is to take advantage of the delight we all have in winning something. These con artists will show up on victims’ doorsteps claiming that they have won a prize. They will have a bunch of paperwork for the victims to fill out, which they use to steal the personal information of their victims. They may also try to scam some money by claiming that the victims need to pay a fee to process the prize claim.
If you are always on the lookout for scams, you will be able to avoid them. Always greet solicitors at your doorstep with a dose of skepticism. Never give them money directly. You should always be sure to check them out with the local authorities and Better Business Bureau before you ever hand over a dime to be on the safe side.