BATON ROUGE, LA – With an increase in reports of door-to-door scams, Attorney General Jeff Landry is urging Louisiana residents to use caution if someone shows up at their doors offering a service or product at an incredibly low price. General Landry warns it could be a con artist trying to scam you.
“It is very common for scam artists to go door-to-door trying to make a quick dollar; but understanding how to spot and stop door-to-door scam artists can protect consumers from becoming fraud victims,” said General Landry.
General Landry points out these common forms of fraud regarding door-to-door solicitations:
Home Repair Scams
A handyman offers to make minor repairs to your home, clean your yard, or repair your driveway for next to nothing – claiming that he and his partner just want to get rid of the leftover material from the job they just finished down the street. The con artist takes a cash payment from you upfront and never returns.
“Free” Energy Audits
A couple claiming to be with your utility company shows up at your door unannounced, saying they have come to conduct a free inspection to see how much energy your home wastes. Once inside, one diverts you while the other scoops up valuables.
You open the door to someone who claims to be doing a survey. It sounds plausible, so you invite the person in. What you don’t realize is that the survey is a trick. The scammer is collecting your personal information to steal your identity. They may also be taking a good look at possessions to steal or thinking of ways to disable or evade your security system.
Home Security System Scam
Unscrupulous door-to-door sales agents use a variety of approaches and pitches to get you to buy an alarm system and monitoring services. They may make a high-pressure, time-limited offer – claiming that you need to act now. They may also try to get you to sign a contract by telling you that the equipment is "free." More than likely, strings are attached. For example, to get your "free" alarm, you may have to sign a long-term and expensive monitoring contract.
So General Landry encourages Louisiana citizens to follow a few tips:
- Do not let anyone come into your home unless you have a prescheduled appointment. You are under no obligation to answer your doorbell. Call local law enforcement if you feel threatened or the person refuses to leave.
- Do not pay cash to anyone who comes to your home claiming to be with a utility company or other service provider.
- Confirm any special offers with your service provider, using the number on your bill or their website.
- Know your rights and read the fine print. Be sure you read and understand all contracts before you sign them. Get the terms and a copy of the contract in writing.
For more tips to avoid scams, visit www.AGJeffLandry.com or call Attorney General Jeff Landry’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-351-4889.