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Use these 6 steps to avoid door-to-door security scams

The door-to-door sales industry has a bad reputation, from con artists stealing from the seniors to teens selling fake magazine subscriptions.

Here is a list of some basic tips to help you make sure a door-to-door salesperson is the real deal.


1. Card them

If someone comes to your door claiming they are selling alarm systems with a security company, always ask to see their ID. A legitimate company is not going to send out their employees without credentials! If you can’t see an ID on their belt or shirt, close the door – you’re probably dealing with a scammer.


2. Request back-up

Ask for documents. A prepared salesperson should come armed with basic marketing material, like a flyer or a brochure. You should always get everything in writing before committing to a service agreement, like start/end dates, contract details and guarantees.


3. Do your research

You don’t need to be a detective to verify a company’s legitimacy. Call the headquarters of the company the salesperson is representing, and use their ID number to verify if they are the real deal.


4. Be wary of maintenance visits

If a salesperson comes to your door unannounced claiming they need to upgrade or make repairs, do not let them inside! Unless you have personally called and asked for a technician or they called a head of time and scheduled a visit, no one should ever enter your home.


5. Expect honesty

A reliable company does not condone the use of aggressive sales tactics. Good security sales reps will be open and honest and make you feel comfortable. Using aggressive means, like pressuring your to buy something, is a red flag.


6. Know your rights

Familiarize yourself with your municipality rules regarding door-to-door sales. Even if you’re not sure of local laws, take comfort in this: if you get buyer’s remorse after a shady sale made at your home, you have three days to cancel.


Door-to-door scammers are rare, so there’s no need to live in fear every time a stranger steps onto your welcome mat. However, by being aware, you can make sure of authenticity and avoid being scammed.