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  • Cash and Carry – Dealing With Money at the Door


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This is an old bit of conventional wisdom, but it dies hard. This week, on Ontario Energy Group Consumer Watch, we will be examining the role of cash scams as they take place at the door. And if you don’t read a word beyond this paragraph, the most important lesson to take away is right here – you should never, ever, for any reason, give someone cash at the door.

Cash is the most popular way for scammers to accept money because it’s difficult to trace and even worse: it’s impossible to prove that a transaction took place. If you give money to a person at the door with the expectation that you will receive a service – you will be scammed and you may never see that person or their “business” again.

When you enter into a business deal, there’s always an expectation of a reciprocal product or service to be given back to you. Scam artists who work at the door play on this expectation, and offer vague or unclear promises while pressuring you for a sale.

Maybe the individual will promise a contract or receipt will be sent to you once the deal is confirmed, or they may avoid the question entirely. Regardless, the lack of paper work available is a sure sign the person isn’t collecting your money for any kind of service.

This is a popular scam, used very frequently by so-called charitable collectors standing in front of Wal-Mart or larger malls. To clarify, this is distinctly separate from seasonal collectors representing Red Cross or Salvation Army, whom are able to identify themselves as part of a recognized charity. However, its within the last few years that an increasing number of scam artists have taken to bringing this practice to the door.

When it comes to charities, recognize that in Canada: no registered charity takes cash at the door. When it comes to donations, many will accept cheques or credit information, but you will be provided with a receipt for a donation with a number that you can call if there are any problems. Similarly, service providers will be able to provide a contract or receipt if asked, and in fact would be required to produce both to initiate any kind of deal.

Sometimes in our rush to seal a deal, we don’t take the right steps to ensure our financial safety. Ontario Energy Group Consumer Watch would like to reiterate that no reputable business in Ontario takes cash at the door without providing proof of purchase. Always keep your wallet firm and safe if someone comes knocking at your door.

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