How to Protect Seniors from Door-to-Door Scams

How to Protect Seniors from Door-to-Door Scams

Home security systems can protect the elderly from door-to-door scams.

Selling door-to-door is one of the oldest and most wholesome ways to spread brand awareness and find new customers. While not as common today, reputable companies send their representatives to homes in areas they want to dominate. Unfortunately, scammers are copying those tactics to target some of the most vulnerable people in our community: senior citizens.

Door-to-door senior scams are becoming more and more prevalent in neighborhoods throughout the Atlanta, GA, area. Authorities aren't always alerted, and prosecution is often difficult, perhaps because many seniors don't have the advantage of high-quality Atlanta home security systems or live monitoring around the clock.

Criminals are now targeting seniors of all income levels and in various neighborhoods, so it's important to spread the word about common door-to-door scams. We're going to inform you of the following potential scams today:

  • Free roof inspections
  • Free siding and window inspections
  • Tree trimming and pest control offers
  • Free medical check-ups
  • Fake magazine sales

Worried about the safety of a senior citizen you love? Call Ackerman's experts: 800.552.1111. We'll provide a thorough assessment of their home's garage, perimeter, and points of entry, along with upfront prices on the best home security systems in Atlanta. We're committed to keeping every member of the Atlanta community safe.

Don't want to wait?Get an instant security quote online today.

Free Roof Inspections

Seniors can protect themselves from this scam by simply not answering the door to someone they don't know.

If someone shows up at your door offering a free roof inspection, your best option is to shut the door.In fact, not opening the door to strangers at all is wise.

Roof inspection door-to-door scamsoccur when someone appearing to represent a roofing company arrives at the door. They say they're offering free roof inspections in the area and ask permission to look at your roof.

Many senior citizens are happy to agree to a free inspection, especially if there have been a lot of windy storms in the area. Once on the roof, the scammers find evidence that the roof needs to be replaced or tear off shingles to create proof that a roof needs repair.

Even someone knowledgeable about senior scams can easily fall for this because they believe the person on their roof is a professional. There are a couple of ways this could end badly for the victim:

  • The scammer will schedule the home for roof repair, asking for half the estimated costs upfront to purchase materials. They will never come back to complete the work.
  • The scammer will follow through with the job, but they will do such a poor job that the roof will likely need replacement or more substantial repair soon.

Seniors can protect themselves from this scam by simply not answering the door to someone they don't know. On principle, they can also decline all free services since offering something for free is the strategy used by many door-to-door senior scams.

Free Siding and Window Inspections

This is like the free roof inspection senior scam, but it involves a different service. The scammer claims to represent an official window and siding company in the local area and offers a free inspection of the senior's home. Since it doesn't involve entering the house, many senior citizens feel safe accepting the offer. They may already have suspicions that they need to clean or replace their siding or upgrade windows, so they see it as an opportunity.

These scams likely end with the theft of money or personal information. Anything provided to the "inspectors" is gone the moment they leave the property. The senior will later learn that the company doesn't exist in Atlanta or elsewhere.

Not answering the door or accepting unsolicited free offers is the best defense for seniors. Contracting with a reputable Georgia home security company to protect your home with live video surveillance and 24/7 monitoring provides the best protection, plus you'll have pictures of the scammer to provide to the police.

Tree Trimming and Pest Control Offers

Tree trimming scams are slightly different than the others mentioned because they're designed to steal cash from unsuspecting homeowners. Seniors are prime targets because they often don't have the physical ability to get outdoors and inspect the work on their property.

Scammers arrive at the senior's doorstep, representing a local tree trimming service. They offer free inspections of the property's trees or simply state that they see the trees need trimming. They offer a discounted price that seems too good to be true, and of course, it is.

The scammers demand upfront payment for the services, and then one of the following happens:

  • The scammer says they need to get equipment or other crew members and never returns to do the work.
  • The scammer pretends to trim the trees but is doing nothing or little.

The same scam is often carried out with pest control services. Unfortunately, that may mean giving the scammers access inside a home. Not only can they spray water or another ineffective chemical around the home, but they can potentially burglarize the home while there or later.

Senior citizens should know not to allow anyone into their homes if they didn't request their services. Interior and exterior camera systems can provide protection even when known service providers come to the property.

Free medical check-ups

Medical professionals will never show up at your door unannounced.

This is one of the more bizarre door-to-door senior scams because most seniors know that legitimate health professionals aren't going to show up at their door unannounced. Scammers get around that by claiming they represent a well-known medical provider or health service in the Atlanta, GA, area. They offer a free health screening, and some seniors open their doors and allow the scammer access to their homes.

In exchange for this "free" screening, seniors are asked to provide their social security numbers, Medicare card numbers, and other personal information. They may take the victim's blood pressure and do other basic medical assessments before leaving with the information.The personal information provided is used for identity theft, Medicare service theft, and later crimes.

These senior scams can lead to long-term problems as seniors realize their information is being used without authorization. With no security footage of the person at their door, there is little authorities can do to determine who is utilizing the senior's information.

Fake Magazine Sales

Instead of offering a service, some scammers will ask seniors to purchase magazine subscriptions. They come up with a variety of stories that tug at the senior's heartstrings and convince them to make a small donation or accept a complimentary issue of a magazine to help a good cause.

These senior scams aim to collect money, personal information, or both. Seniors should know not to give their credit card numbers or any type of online financial information to someone they don't know and trust, especially at their doorstep.

Want To Maximize Protection for a Senior You Love?

Ackerman offers the most advanced home security systems around, complete with 24/7 monitoring and our "no-theft" guarantee. To safeguard your loved ones from door-to-door scams, call 800.552.1111 to speak with one of our security experts orschedule your free instant security quote online today.