Advice for dealing with pushy door-to-door salespeople - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Advice for dealing with pushy door-to-door salespeople

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BUTLER CO., AL (WSFA) -

A group of four men going door to door with pricey vacuums in Butler County were using what Sheriff Kenny Harden describes as high pressure selling tactics.

"It's when they keeping insisting on trying to sell you something and you might tell them no you're not interested and they continue to do it and it's not like over the phone where you can just hang up. They're at your door," Harden explained. 

When one resident declined to let them inside her home, the sheriff says the salesmen tried to get her to come out to their car to look at items. 

"They did not have a business license they could produce so we told them they had to get one before they could continue to sell here in Butler County so they left. We've heard a lot of talk about them forcing their way into the house and stuff like that but there has not been anything like that reported to the sheriff's office where they forced their way in," he said. 

Harden said he heard secondhand a report of a salesman approaching a Butler County home offering a cleaning service and trying to push his way in to the house but ended up being run off by the armed homeowner. The sheriff said that incident was not reported to his office. 

In places like Greenville, unsolicited door to door sales is prohibited. Officials say the salesmen were operating on Manningham Road outside of Greenville- one would be doing a demonstration with a Kirby vacuum at one house and the others would make their way to nearby homes and attempt the same thing. 

Police say for residents, the key is to not be intimidated by someone being at your front door. 

"If you feel concerned even by the look of these people, there's no rule that says you even have to open the door or go to the door. If you're home alone and don't feel comfortable, just go ahead and make a phone call to your local police department or sheriff's office and let them head that way to check them out and see who they are," said Lt. Justin Lovvorn with the Greenville Police Department. "A lot of people may not feel comfortable doing that, feel they may be over-reacting but when someone comes to your house unsolicited and you don't know who they are, then that's part of our job."

The sheriff's office in Butler County asks that salesmen get their business license and also as a courtesy, check in with local authorities  when they come to town to let them know what area they'll be and other identifying information. That way, police can let concerned citizens who may call in know that the salesmen are legit. 

"Be cautious. There are some legitimate door to door salesmen that can be just high pressure but even if they are legitimate, you want to be cautious about who you have in your house and what you allow yourself to be opened up to by these people coming into your home," Lt. Lovvorn added. 

"I would tell the residents of the county here- do not let anybody into your house that you do not know. If they knock on your door and they try to pressure you into letting them come in, call 911 and we'll get a deputy out there to check them out," Sheriff Harden said. "They could be casing your place out and could be there to do harm to you or take something from you or if nobody is at home, break into your house. So if anybody sees anybody suspicious going door to door, call your local authorities and let us check them out."

Harden also wants to make citizens are of a "flim flam" scam. He received a call from a Butler County resident Monday who said he had received information in the mail stating that he had won a $100 gift card. He called the 1-800 number that was provided and was informed that he had to pay $1.98 with his credit card in order to get the gift card. He declined the offer and reported it to the sheriff. 

"If somebody calls to tell you that you've won something or you get something in the mail to call this number, don't give any information out to them. It's a scam. If they had gotten his credit card number, then they could have run his credit up to the max," Sheriff Harden warned. "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." 

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