Protect America, Inc., the nation’s largest provider for wireless home alarm systems, is warning residents of Arkansas and Missouri about a door knocking scam that could hit the area this summer.
Summer door knocking scams have become an unfortunate feature in American neighborhoods for the past few years. The criminals behind these schemes can have different goals. Some might be seeking personal or financial information while others are trying to lock homeowners into cumbersome security contracts. The scams have affected so many people that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has issued guidelines for spotting and avoiding fake door-to-door salespeople.
“These scams make it very difficult for legitimate security vendors to do business,” said Arlin Owsley, a spokesman for Protect America. “They can be incredibly convincing but there are a few things people can do to stay safe, like ask for identification. Some states require licenses, so ask for one. If they aren’t required to have a license for door-to-door selling, just ask for a driver’s license or some other form of identification.”
Advice from the FTC to avoid door knocking scams include checking for ID and asking specific questions about the company they claim to represent. The FTC also warns that salespeople offering a “limited time offer” or “upgrades” to existing systems should be viewed with extra suspicion. It’s also advisable to withhold any identifying information, like social security numbers or bank account information.
Arkansas does not require licensing for door-to-door solicitation but some towns do require a permit. The state of Missouri requires door-to-door salespeople to have a license from the state.