Elder Abuse: Door-to-Door Sales Fraud

A well-dressed young man came to the door and said his company was in the neighbourhood doing some work. They could fix my roof for a good price but I had to decide right away. He said we didn't need a contract; my handshake was good enough. I gave him a cheque for materials. Now his phone is disconnected and no one has come to fix my roof.

Most door-to-door sales are legitimate but some are not. Ask questions. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


  • Watch out for sales people who "just happen" to be in your neighbourhood.
  • Never sign on the first day. Sleep on it. Don't sign just because you feel pressured.
  • Be suspicious when someone asks you for money before the work is started.
  • Look into the company before you give them your money. A good company will be registered with the Better Business Bureau and be able to give you strong references.
  • Report suspected fraud or scams to the police.

Fraud is a crime. It could happen to anyone. Stay informed.


The following true or false questions may help you learn more about door-to-door sales fraud.

  1. It is common practice for legitimate businesses to ask you to decide on the spot or else miss out on the discount.
  2. It is normal for a salesperson to ask for payment in cash or by cheque before starting the work.
  3. It is easy to tell if someone is a con artist by looking at them or listening to them.
  4. Con artists may tell you the cost of a home repair project without inspecting the job first.
  1. (F)
  2. (F)
  3. (F)
  4. (T)

Elder Fraud: It's time to face the reality.

In Canada the two credit-reporting agencies are Equifax and TransUnion.

For more information:

1-800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232)
TTY: 1-800-926-9105

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada — 2014-11-19
Cat. No.: J2-353/3-2009
ISBN: 978-0-662-06878-5

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