BBB offers helpful ways to protect yourself from door-knock scams

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by RYAN WOOD

WFAA

Posted on February 11, 2014 at 4:39 PM

DUNCANVILLE -- A Duncanville woman told police that a couple knocked on her door offering to check the pipes in her home.  Police are now investigating a theft at the woman's home, after she said one of the plumbing posers pocketed valuable items while she was kept occupied on the front porch.

The Better Business Bureau of Dallas offered helpful ways to protect yourself from door-knock scams:

1.   If you aren’t expecting the person at your door, you don’t even have to talk to them or open the door. 

2.   Beware of high pressure to buy something or let the person into your home. High pressure is always a sign to be more careful.

3.   Be leery of scare tactics, such as claiming that some type of home repair or service must be done right away to avoid damage to your home or danger to you. You can always get a second opinion from a business you trust.

4.   If a salesperson claims they are selling something like magazines or candy to earn points to win something like a scholarship or prize, make your decision to buy based solely on whether you want the merchandise and not any appeal for sympathy. If you buy, be sure to get a receipt showing the business name and contact information and understand the terms of the purchase.

5.   Be especially cautious of opening the door or letting someone in that you aren’t expecting if you are by yourself. If someone at your door is threatening or won’t leave, call 911.

6.   If the person at the door claims to be with a business or with a city office, before deciding whether to let the person in, ask for some ID. Separately, look up the number for the business or agency, perhaps on the Internet, and call to verify the person’s identity.

7.   If you’re not expecting them, don’t let two people in, especially if you’re alone. It’s easy for one person to keep you preoccupied while the other steals, or damages something that they will offer to fix.

8.   To check out a business or file a complaint with BBB, go online to www.bbb.org.

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