Door-To-Door Scams

Residents in the twin states are being reminded about ways to avoid being duped by fraudulent door-to-door salesmen.

Reports of suspicious door-to-door sales activity were made in Sumter County, Alabama Thursday. Deputies responded. Although there were no signs of fraudulent activity, Sheriff Tyrone Clark say the individuals did not have proper identification, and investigators asked them to stop soliciting within that area.

Although there's no proof of fraudulent activity in that case, the head of the Better Business Bureau in Mississippi says door-to-door scammers are not uncommon anywhere in the country during the summer when students are not in school.

"A lot of companies go out there and hire these kids to knock door-to-door selling anything from pest control to alarm systems to magazines, and soliciting donations for charities," says John O'Hara, who is the director for the Better Business Bureau in Mississippi.

If approached in the manner, O'Hara says it's important for homeowners to always ask for proper identification from the sales person.

'If they're working for a company they should have some sort of i-d even if it's on a clip board or anything," says O'Hara. "The other thing is to not let them in your house. I mean, that's a safety issue. There's no reason for them to come into your house. The third thing is that if they're doing any high pressure tactics such as saying that the offer is only good today that should send all sorts of red flags up."

If you have any concerns about the solicitation, O'Hara says you should always ask for the person's contact information, do your own research on the company, and contact the sales person at a later date if you so desire.

To report a scam, or check to find out if a business is legitimate, you can call the Better Business Bureau. That number in Mississippi 1-800-987--8280; in Alabama it's 1-800- 824-5274.


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