The Door To Door Sales Identity Theft Scam: Adapting Old Methods To Today's Purposes

Yet Another Identity Theft Scam To Look Out For

Door to door sales scams are nothing new, but in an era when identity theft is rampant, they create a venue for scammers to obtain personal information from unsuspecting victims. Sometimes door to door sales people are legitimate; other times they are scammers, trying to either cheat you out of your money or information that would make you vulnerable to having your identity stolen. Here's what you need to know about another identity theft scam making the rounds...

Knock, Knock, Who's There?

Door to door scammers will try to set you at ease by greeting you by name and showering you with congeniality and charm. Keep in mind that this information is readily available, and does not indicate professionalism.

These "professionals" may approach you under the ruse that they are trying to sell you something (anything from life insurance to vacuum cleaners), or that they are visiting on behalf of a service you pay for (such as utilities), and ask to enter your home.

Whatever the ploy, and no matter how official or professional they appear to be, do not allow them to cross your threshold. If they approach you while you are outside, ask them to leave.

Will That Be Cash Or Check?

Once a scammer has your attention, it is his goal to obtain payment. If you pay by cash, your money is gone immediately. If you provide him with a check or a credit card, you are giving him personal information that makes you vulnerable to identity theft.

If a product really seems legitimate, and it is something that you are interested in, ask for a brochure or business card, and inform the salesperson that you need to confer with your spouse before you make a decision.

Do not fall for last-minute attempts to get any personal information, such as filling out a "request for information" form. Then, do some research -- if the product is legitimate, you can either make the purchase yourself online or contact the salesperson later so that he can get a commission off of your purchase.

No matter what, it pays to be wary when approached by a door to door sales person. It is human nature to be trusting, and scammer play on this. A legitimate product will always be available later; if you give your money (or your identity) to a criminal conning you with an identity theft scam, it's gone for good.

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