true tales from the credit union - at my door
By: Susan Goree
December 11, 2020
Recently, a member called with a mortgage question and I felt our discussion may be helpful to other
members who have closed mortgages with MidWest America. When we close a 1st mortgage, other
companies use the basic public information of the loan and try to send mail offers for life insurance
coverage on the mortgage loan (see Fraud Blog – Part 4 for
more details). They use our name and/or logo to make it appear to the member that it is something WE
Well, the member I spoke with had just closed a mortgage with us recently and had an unexpected visitor
come to her door! She let me know that a woman showed up at her door at 7:30 pm at night and said she
was there to discuss life insurance for the mortgage she just closed with MidWest America. Our member
talked to her for a minute and then asked her, “Are you from MidWest America?” The lady instantly pulled
out the public documents my members had signed at closing and asked, “This is your signature,
right?” Apparently, the woman was prepared for that question. My member answered yes and assumed she
was from the Credit Union since she had the paperwork from closing. Our member shared that her husband
wasn’t home and she would need to talk to him. The visitor then made a future appointment with our
member to return and discuss the life insurance with both of them. When she called me to question what
happened the prior evening, I assured our member that we will not show up randomly at your door to sell
insurance and explained that the information the woman presented was only documentation that is made
public at mortgage closing.
While this type of sales attempt may appear legitimate, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has some
great tips for protecting yourself from any type of door-to-door scammers:
- Don’t let anyone come into your home unless you have a prescheduled appointment. You have the right
to refuse to open your own door.
- Don’t pay cash to anyone who comes to your home claiming to be with a utility company or other
- Confirm any special offers with your service provider — using the number on your bill or their
website. Also, be suspicious of a promotional flyer offering service from multiple providers.
Competitors don’t typically advertise together.
In addition to selling you products that may not exist or be as good as claimed, door-to-door
“salesmen” have been known to offer to make repairs to your home if you pay upfront, attempt to
reconnect your utilities for a fee, or threaten to disconnect your utilities unless you pay right then.
There are some legitimate businesses out there that come door-to-door to sell things, but remember that
not all are. Keep yourself safe and if you’re ever in question about who’s at the door, don’t open it. A
legitimate business will leave a flyer and let you call them back at your convenience. Thankfully, our
member quickly called to verify prior to signing up for any type of coverage.