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Door-to-door sales fraud

Many honest retail sellers or businesses sell goods and services at your doorstep. But, in recent years, illegitimate door-to-door selling has increased. The sales representative uses clever techniques to pressure the buyer to spend on something they do not require or invest in a low-quality, high-priced item. 

They give unfair deals or seek surveys where they want clients to fill in personal and bank details. They offer substandard home maintenance products or services for a higher rate, which they may not even deliver, but they bill the house owner for such improper jobs. 

Many such sales representatives seek funds for charity from unsuspecting people. 

These dealers offer guarantees or money back to attract buyers, but their guarantees are never honoured. They often carry incorrect identification cards or contact information, making it impossible to identify or contact them if the client wants to return the product. In most cases, they seek advance payment, often in cash, which cannot be traced or returned.

If you pay through a credit card and are covered by an insurance policy, you may get back the loss but will have to suffer due to bad credit ratings. Sometimes, you get a refund after a series of correspondence with the insurance company, which may take a long time. 

So, if you suspect any fraudulent activity, you should not open the door to such potential tricksters or burglars. To protect yourself, install security measures on the door or cameras to identify and reject the entry of suspicious salespeople.  

If you have bought something substandard from door-to-door salespeople, and if you overpaid for the goods or services, you should report the crime to the regulatory agencies.

If you suspect you signed a long-term bogus deal, report it to the authorities and seek advice related to the terms of the agreement or contract from an expert. 

If you have made payments through debit, credit card, or cheque, contact the card company or the bank and tell them you are a victim. They will advise you to cancel the transaction to avoid a loss.

How To Protect Yourself?

  • Always ask for the identification of the ID cards the firm offers to their representatives before allowing them to enter your house.

  • Check their credential and contact details, and also ensure their phone numbers. Before making any payments, ask questions and do not pay in cash mode. 

  • Do not sign on the spot; shop around and get at least three written quotes to compare the offers. 

  • If you are suspicious, request the salespeople to click a picture on your mobile. Anyone with a legitimate identity will not mind getting a photograph with their customer. 

  • Discuss the terms and rates with friends and family. If you are in doubt, call an expert, and if you suspect the deal, report it to the regulatory authorities. 

  • If you decide to buy a product, get an agreement in writing. Beware of filling out the forms while speaking to the person. Do not unintentionally reveal anything confidential or related to the bank account or private information that a fraudster can exploit to get control over your identity and finances. 

  • Such information allows the tricksters to steal money from your account or order products in your name. 

  • If you have asked for some service related to home improvement or paid-for goods, you get a seven-day cooling-off period to cancel a contract when you can return the item, reject the contract or refuse to accept the service. 

  • Do not make payment for any service or product before accessing it. If you suspect fraud, raise concerns with the authorities.

Date Published: Sep 12, 2023

Types of fraud

A-Z of fraud

To help understand which fraud you've been affected by, we've categorised them into an alphabetical list.

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Cybercrimes can be of two types. First, it can be cyber dependent, where the fraudsters use online devices to convince the victim to accept their offers.

Advance fee fraud

If you are trying to get a loan for a house or a car, they ask to meet the provider to get the financing arrangement and pay the finder's fee in advance.

Corporate fraud

Corporate frauds can be complicated, committed either by the firm or an individual. Nevertheless, it mostly involves cheating where the employee or the firm.

Individual fraud

There are many types of individual frauds related to advance fees, investments, insurance brokers, bogus tradespeople, Ponzi schemes, pension liberation.

Online fraud

Hence the number of cases of online fraud is increasing each year, and most such cases include – account takeover, direct frauds, or scams related domain names.

Identity fraud and identity theft

The criminal uses the stolen identity of another person living or deceased to conduct unlawful activities like obtaining goods or services in another's name.

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