BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - It seems some smooth talking salesmen are selling their scams door to door.
So how can you avoid becoming a victim?
The Better Business Bureau is hearing from hundreds of consumers who are being offered a variety of products and services at their front door. While many door-to-door salesmen are honest, BBB says to beware of fly-by-night contractors, fast talkers and out right scammers who are lurking to catch you at the right time to make a deal.
The BBB says here's what to look for:
-The Driveway Sealer Scam where a fake contractor shows up at your door claiming to have materials left over from a nearby job. You pay up front for him to seal your driveway, he slathers motor oil or something else on it and takes off with your cash.
-The Home Improvement Scam involving anything from roofing, siding, and paint to concrete repair. Don't take the bait if a door-to-door rep claims he was working in the neighborhood and saw that you need this or that done, or he's available today for a special price.
- Theres are the Magazine Sales Scam usually involving a young person saying he or she's working to raise money on behalf of a charity, saving for college, or raising money for families affected by the oil spill. DOn't fall for it.
-And there's the Chimney Shaker Scam- it begins with them coming to your home for a roof repair or gutter cleaning, but then they shake the bricks on your chimney claiming its structurally unsound, then they rope you in for costly repairs. Instead, get a second opinion.
There are some red flags when you are approached by a fly-by-night contractor. There are some steps to take before you do buy something from a door-to-door sales rep.
Release from the BBB:
It’s that time of year when door-to-door solicitation peaks. What would you do if a stranger knocked on your door ...with a deal hard to resist? The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is hearing from hundreds of consumers who are being offered a variety of products and services at their front door. While many door-to-door salesmen are honest, BBB says to beware and proceed with caution. Door-to-door solicitation is an age-old sales method but most bargains are not worth the risk of doing business with someone you don’t know or trust. Fly-by-night contractors, fast talkers and out right scammers are lurking to catch you at the right time to make a deal.
“Complaints mount every year,” said David Polino, Better Business Bureau President. “Some complaints allege high-pressure and misleading sales tactics; others allege that sales reps took their check and the products did not arrive.” Consumers have contacted the BBB about a variety of offers including having their driveway sealed, roof repaired, home improvement deals, or magazine sales …ready for purchase without having to leave your home.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is advising consumers against these active door-to-door sales offers:
Driveway Sealer Scam: So called contractors show up claiming they have materials left over from a nearby job and offer to seal your driveway for a rock-bottom price. After you pay up front, the workers may slather some substance, such as crude motor oil, on your driveway, or claim they’ll return later that day and run off without doing any work at all. In the best case, you are out some money, in the worst case; you’re cleaning up the mess and out the money.
Home Improvement Scam: Roofing, siding, paint, concrete repair. You name it – and they claim they can do it. But hold on – don’t take the bait if a door-to-door rep claims “I was working in your neighborhood and …” “We have extra materials and it looks like you need …” “I have contracts to guarantee my work but forgot them …” or “I’m available today for a special price to …” Since there are several versions of the home improvement scam and some scammers have claimed they are working for well known stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s – buyers need to beware and check out the story and the company before they do business. Convenience does not always translate into a good opportunity.
Magazine Sales Scam: Young representatives might explain they are working to raise money on behalf of a charity, saving for college or even selling subscriptions to support families affected by the oil spill. The sales person’s youthful age can prompt consumers to fall victim and believe the potentially fictitious sales pitch. Experience tells BBB that customers aren’t the only victims of this scam; the young salespeople are also potentially being taken advantage of by their employers who require them to work long hours, and often have their wages withheld unless they sell something.
Chimney Shaker Scam: Sometimes these individuals come door to door, but most likely they lure their victims via local news advertisements offering low pricing on roof repair or gutter cleaning. Once they begin work, they claim your chimney is structurally unsound. These scammers are called “shakers” because sometimes they