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How to avoid door-to-door sales scams

door2doorDoor-to-door sales agents periodically visit our Table Rock neighborhood. Some may be polite and represent goods or services of interest. Others may use high pressure tactics to gain a sale at your expense.

The Federal Trade Commission advises people to beware of these signs of a scam:

  • Pressure to act now to take advantage of a limited time offer.
  • Offer of “free” equipment to get you to sign a contract.
  • Scare tactics, such as a security systems agent saying, “Burglaries have occurred in your neighborhood.”

There’s wisdom in the old adage “If something sounds too good to be true…” Time is on your side in a high-pressure sales pitch. Stand your ground and insist on time to investigate and review the company, service or product.

A little online investigation can save you from making a costly mistake. If you’re not familiar with checking things out online, ask a family member, friend or neighbor for help.

Finally, don’t sign anything without reading it carefully. If oral promises have been made, make sure they appear in writing on the contract as well.

As a safety measure, the FTC has a cooling-off rule that allows you three business days to cancel if you sign a contract in your home or at a location that’s not the seller’s permanent place of business. And you don’t have to give any reason for cancelling.

If you have concerns about any door-to-door sales in our neighborhood, please contact a board member.