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LCSO: New year sure to bring up old con artists

January 22, 2014
Lehigh Acres Citizen

A cool breeze, magnificent sunsets, and the return of friends and neighbors from up north is a gentle reminder that Southwest Florida is an amazing place to live, work and play.

Unfortunately, it is also the time of year unscrupulous "door-to-door" con-artists head our way looking for an opportunity to take advantage of homeowners' by offering to sell household cleaning products, books, and magazines.

The Lee County Sheriff's Office encourages you to follow the tips below should you receive a knock on the door from someone selling or soliciting in your neighborhood, and reminds you it is highly likely that a door-to-door solicitor may have an ulterior motive in mind.

- Keep all doors, including the garage door, closed and locked at all times, especially when you are outside working in the yard. Stepping away from the front of the house to retrieve something in the backyard is all the time needed to gain access to your home.

- If you answer the door, never invite someone you don't know in to your home. Instead speak with them through a window or step outside, closing the door behind you.

- Be the eyes and ears of your neighborhood. Don't hesitate to report unknown or suspicious people, activity, or vehicles; particularly large passenger vans dropping of "sales crews."

- Before you make a decision to purchase something from a door to door sales person, ask for the information in writing and tell them you want to think about it and will get back to them. If they use high pressure sales tactics telling you "the deal is only good now," the Sheriff's Office suggests you politely disengage and pass on "the deal." Legitimate sales associates want to make the sale even if that means they have to wait a day or two.

- Last but not least, don't do business with door-to-door contractors such as tree trimmers, landscapers, roof repairers, driveway paving companies attempting to sell left over material, and other home repair solicitors.

For more information about this Safety and Security tip or to report a fraud or scam, contact the Lee County Sheriff's Office Fraud Line at (239) 258-3292.

To report a suspicious person or vehicle, call (239) 477-1000.

In an emergency, dial 911.

Source:?Lee County Sheriff's Office



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