Recently. our communications center has received many calls reporting suspicious people going door-to-door selling subscriptions to a certain satellite television service. This raised several different questions that we would like to answer here to help you avoid becoming a victim:
Q: Is every door-to-door sales person required to have a “peddler’s” license?
A: In most cases, yes. You can verify this by contacting your specific city government.
Q: What information is okay to give to a sales person and what shouldn’t you give them?
A: Never give them your banking information, social security number and any other person information.
Q: How can you verify if the person selling is from an actual company?
A: Ask them to produce a peddler’s permit from their company and the city that they are selling in. If they cannot provide you this specific documentation and if they can’t, ask them to leave.
Q: Who do you report a person without a peddler’s license to?
A: If it’s during normal business hours, you should call your specific city government office; you can also call our 24-hour communications center at 712-737-3307.
Q: What should a person do if they did give their personal information to someone?
A: They should alert their banking or financial institution as soon as possible and report this to them so they can watch for any fraudulent or suspicious transactions.
Q: Is it okay to make purchases from legitimate sales people?
A: Yes, if you feel comfortable with them and they have provided any documents that you have asked for verification on. We would also urge people to ask for references and contact the Better Business Bureau. If you are not sure, wait; ask the salesperson for a way to contact them later. If they don’t want to do this, it should be a “red flag” that they are not legitimate.
Q: What are common some other scams in the Sioux County area?
A: There has been a fake IRS phone scam where callers intimidate people by telling them they are delinquent on their taxes and demand personal banking information. Another is paving scams where fraudulent paving companies stop and ask if they can pave your driveway. After tricking you into paying them, they apply poor quality paving materials and leave the area before being detected. There is a vast variety of scams where someone contacts you by phone or email pretending to be someone you know. They will pressure you into sending them money or gift cards; if this one happens to you, contact that specific person back and confirm with them to make sure it’s legitimate. DO NOT send them money, merchandise or give them banking information before checking.
The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office wants you all to remain vigilant and aware. Some final pieces of advice we have for you for any type of scam is: avoid being pressured into any transaction. Do not hurry into anything that makes you uncomfortable. Usually, your “gut feeling” is correct; if something makes you feel uneasy, it’s probably a situation to avoid. If in doubt, research and tell them you will get back to them later.