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Neighborhood Notes

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December 16, 2020

Who’s That Knocking On Your Door?

This last week the following situation was reported to Cobb Co Police and it demonstrates that we should all be careful about people who come to our residence or small business soliciting business from us.  The situation has been described as an 87 year old victim who had two white males come to her residence claiming they were selling carpet cleaning.  According to the victim, the males were “pushy” and ended up coming into the house and sitting on her couch talking about carpet cleaning. During this time, one of the males slipped away and took $500 out of her bedroom dresser.  It is still undetermined if credit information and/or checking information was stolen too.

The males were described as 30-40 year old white males, dark hair with some grey.  One tall and thin and one heavy set in a white pickup truck.  

Could this happen to you or someone you care about – a neighbor, a friend or someone you see at your place of worship?  Maybe, right? 

Given the pandemic and many of us sticking close to home – those who victimize in this manner have a lot of homes and/or small businesses to target.  And, it’s not just carpet cleaning – around the County many have experienced the pine straw scam.  Here’s how that works….

Workers approach homeowners and explain they are in the area working and have extra pine straw and offer to sell and spread the pine straw for approximately $4.00 per bale. Depending on the size of the yard the agreement is to spread approximately 10-50 bales of pine straw. At some point, the workers re-contact the homeowner and say that it will take more pine straw than anticipated to complete the job and the homeowner agrees with the assumption it will only take a few more bales to complete the job.

When the workers finish the job they advise the homeowner they installed approximately 4 times the bales the homeowner anticipated.

The workers then try to collect several thousands of dollars for the work they claim they did. In most of the cases, the homeowners start negotiating a rate higher than agreed upon initially but lower than the workers are asking simply to get them to leave.

What to Do:

- Use extreme caution when dealing with walk-up salespeople.  (They may seem very nice to start with ….)

- Ask them for a Business Card or Website so that you can research the business before they start the work.

- If possible obtain the business name, employee names, phone numbers, and tag numbers.

- Check for a Cobb County Business License and Better Business Bureau review.

- If it is a verbal agreement, record the conversation, agree on the specific work that you want to be done, and agree on a specific final price. Before any work starts.

Trying to save a few dollars might end up costing you a lot in the long run!  Use a local reputable company that is established, licensed, and insured.

If you have been a victim of this scam we would ask you to please call 770-499-3900 and file a report.  If you have any pictures or videos advise the officer when you file the report.

If you feel that you are being scammed or intimidated to pay a higher amount immediately call 911 to have the issue reported and hopefully resolved.