Summertime is prime time for door-to-door scams. Since becoming a homeowner, I’ve seen many. There were the magazine salesmen who asked me if my mother was home. Uh-huh. Though instantly suspicious, I invited them in and ordered a couple of magazines because it was 400 degrees outside and I felt sorry for them.

But then I learned about so-called “mag crews” and why it might not be a great idea to support them. A couple weeks ago a solicitor who looked about 14-16 years old tried to sell me magazines (in a very roundabout and creative way) and when I told him “no thanks” he begged, then told me I could donate the magazines to a charity if I didn’t want them myself, and finally he seemed to get angry and asked if he could use my phone so he could call for a ride home. Awkward.

We had an incident on my street involving a woman claiming to be new to the neighborhood who wanted to introduce herself. While she was at it, she guessed she would gather donations for “Books for Children” charity. A quick jaunt around the webosphere reveals that this “Books for Children” is a pretty common scam.

There have been a couple different alarm-system salespeople in the neighborhood too. I touched on this topic two years ago on this blog — I’m, convinced that the alarm system peddler at my door was up to no good. Plus, I don’t think it’s a smart idea to discuss your security system, or lack of one, with a random dude at your door. If you do engage with a door-to-door security salesperson, you’re supposed to ask for a Private Securities Bureau permit.

One blogger takes a comprehensive look at door-to-door scams and how to spot one, and the Better Business Bureau recently released this list of the latest scams.

Stay informed and let us know if there is a particular scam you’ve recently encountered.

More tips from the BBB:

High-pressure tactics are often a part of fraudulent door-to-door sales and solicitations. Do not let yourself be hurried, intimidated or coerced.

If you are interested in buying from a door-to-door seller, get everything in writing, including price, warranty and all conditions. Tell the salesperson you will check over the information and get back to him or her.

Always ask for proper identification before listening to the pitch.

Never let a stranger inside your home.

If you feel threatened, call the police.


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