Beware of Sketchy Sales Calls by Slick Salesmen
It is a warning that bears repeating this time of year as door-to-door con artists and cold calling phone solicitors make their way to Southwest Florida looking to take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners. With our ‘season” in full swing, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office fraud line has already seen an increase in calls from residents reporting phony roof repair solicitations with sales pitches that seem too good to be true.
Fraudsters use many common tactics when attempting to lure a vulnerable customer into their deceptive scheme including aggressive and persuasive sales tactics, refusing to take ‘no’ as an answer, claiming they were called by the customer, or happen to be in the neighborhood. Learning how to respond to these fraudulent solicitations is your first step in protecting yourself from becoming a victim. Below are a few tips we encourage you to follow:
- If you receive an unsolicited phone call offering you home repair services, HANG UP!
- Do not answer a knock at the door by someone you do not know as opening the door to a stranger is risky business and makes it harder for you to disengage. Speak through a window if necessary.
- Never pay for services in advance, especially with cash or a check. If you do, don’t be surprised if the “worker” never returns to finish the job.
- Immediately report unknown or suspicious people, activity, or vehicles to the Sheriff’s Office at 477-1000.
You should be aware that Florida statute 501.021 prohibits home solicitation sale without first obtaining a valid home solicitation sales permit from the clerk of the circuit court for the county in which the solicitor intends to conduct door-to-door sales (some exclusions apply). For additional information check out www.leg.state.fl.us.
If you believe you have been a victim of a solicitation scam, call the Sheriff’s Office fraud line at 258-3292.