Door-to-door scammers pressure residents to make quick buys or sign contracts for unnecessary products or services – and Attorney General Kris Mayes is educating Arizonans about their tactics as part of Consumer Protection Week.
“As the saying goes, if a stranger appears at your door selling something that seems too good to be true, it probably is,” said Attorney General Mayes. “Door-to-door scammers are most likely to prey upon elderly and other vulnerable citizens. I want Arizona’s consumers to know it is ok to be skeptical, ask questions, and simply say no.”
While some door-to-door sales are legitimate, some scammers use high-pressure tactics and false claims. The salesperson may insist on payment up-front, but ultimately never provide the product or service, or misrepresent the quality. Sometimes, they sell a product or service at an inflated or high price.
Warning signs that a door-to-door sale may be a scam:
- A stranger approaches your house without contacting you first.
- The person is not in a work uniform or doesn’t appear to be dressed professionally.
- You do not recognize the company.
- They ask you for personal information to continue the sale.
- They ask to enter your home to discuss further or inspect. This could be a warning sign for burglary or additional pressure. This could also be a warning sign for a home improvement or security company scam in which salespeople promise to do the work and end up damaging your home or never completing the project, leaving you out of your hard-earned dollars.
- They demand up-front payment or ask you to pay cash. If a salesperson is asking for a gift card, a check or a money transfer, it could be a red flag for fraud.
- They become upset or aggressive if you say you are not interested.
Follow these tips to avoid falling for a high-pressure sales tactic, paying more for a product or service than you should, or becoming the victim of a scam:
- Ask to see the salesperson’s ID or permit. This identification can mean that the company or individual has taken steps to be licensed by the city or town.
- Never give a stranger your personal or financial information.
- Don’t let strangers into your home.
- Get everything in writing. All prices, warranties and cancellation policies should be provided in order to make an informed decision.
- Take your time. Don’t sign a contract or make a purchase on the spot.
- Never pay in full up front or pay cash. Pay only after you receive the product or the service is completed.
- Know your cancellation rights. https://www.azag.gov/consumer/threeday
Trust your gut. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
If you believe you have been the victim of or experienced consumer fraud, you can file a consumer complaint by visiting the Attorney General’s website. If you need a complaint form sent to you, contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at (800) 352-8431.