Police: Be wary of sales calls

Published 11:12 pm Friday, August 19, 2011

When that traveling salesman knocks at the door, be cautious.

That’s the message Troy Police are sharing these days as two separate incidents of suspicious salespeople have been reported to the police within the past 10 days.

“We’ve received reports of people going around posing as vacuum cleaner salespeople,” said Sgt. Benny Scarbrough. “They go in, put something on the carpet, and show you how it cleans up.”

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But, Scarbrough said, when the residents have inquired about a business license or for more details, the salespeople have been unable to produce any license documentation.

“And we’ve called and checked with the city license office, and they have no records of anyone getting a license to go door-to-door to sell,” he said.

The incidents took place in Troy and on the Henderson Highway. “Which tells me that these people aren’t working in just the concentrated areas of Troy. They’re venturing out to more rural areas,” he said.

While it’s possible these salespeople are working for a legitimate company, Scarbrough said, they have not secured the proper city business licenses. “We have talked to a particular company that does have people come to this area, and our point in talking to them was to reiterate that if they are coming into our area to sell (door-to-door) they need to purchase a business license,” he said.

Scarbrough also said residents are wary these days of any door-to-door solicitations. “The economy is not that great, and people are always worried that somebody is trying to get information or could steal from them,” he said. “In one of these incidents, the folks didn’t even have a new vacuum cleaner that could be purchased.”

Scarbrough said anyone who comes in contact with one of these salespeople is asked to contact the Troy Police Department. “Get as much detail as you can: how many people, what they’re wearing, what they’re driving … that helps us,” he said. “They may be legitimate, but let us figure that out.”