Avoid these three most popular carpet-cleaning tricks that scam artists try to pull on innocent homeowners.

If you’re meticulous about keeping carpets tidy and stain-free, you know the benefit of a professional carpet cleaning service. Unfortunately, carpet-cleaning scam artists try to take advantage of homeowners with high-pressure sales tactics.

If you’re looking to hire a pro, become familiar with the process and watch out for these three common carpet cleaning scams.

The “unbelievably low prices” scam

You’ll hear this one from salespeople who come to your door, claiming to offer the lowest price in town. They might tell you about competitors’ offers or give you fliers that show what other companies charge. In reality, the person at your door is getting paid for the number of sales he or she makes. If you agree to the price, the salesperson leaves and a “pro” comes back a few days later.

Once inside your home, the price suddenly starts to increase — because you have thicker than average carpet, your rooms are a strange size or there are certain types of stains on your floor. Regardless of what you initially agreed to, the price suddenly spirals out of control, and you find yourself paying for services you don’t need or want.

The fix? Never agree to anything sold by a door-to-door salesman, especially if he or she tells you it’s a limited-time offer. Always call the company on your own time and your own terms.

The “best method” scam

There are several common methods for carpet cleaning. The most popular is steam cleaning, which actually uses hot water and a chemical detergent. Clean water and detergent are pushed into your carpet using high-powered tools, and dirty water is pulled out using a vacuum. Dry cleaning, meanwhile, uses a very small amount of water and chemicals to pull stains out of your carpet and refresh the fibers.