How to Prevent Door to Door Scams

A close friend called to tell me a man knocked on her door to sell her on repaving her driveway. In the process, he requested she invite him in to discuss it further and go over different options. The man was persistent and if my friend was anyone else, he may have gotten in. However, she is savvier than that and reminded him that her German Shepherd would not appreciate anyone coming in the house.

Call them con men, grifters, scammers, or thieves. Or simply call them liars. Lying is what they do best. Face to face, via email or over the phone they lie through their teeth. They do it casually and with such conviction that we have no reason not to believe them.

These people will stand in your doorway and, in some cases, keep you talking until you buy something or persist till they get into your home. Remember, whatever you tell them can be used against you.

For example, if they act as a home alarm salesman and find out you don’t have an alarm, they may break into your house. If you tell them who your home alarm is with, they may call you at a later date posing as that alarm company and request “updated credit card numbers”.

This “request” is best resolved by not answering any questions at all, or telling the person at the front door (while you speak to them through the locked door) you are not interested. No matter what, never give them Social Security or credit card numbers, or tell them whether or not you have a home alarm.

The key is to stop being so nice and SAY NO as quickly as possible and always do it through a locked door.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing scammers and thieves on The Big Idea with Donnie Deutsch.

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