Washoe County Sheriff's Office Warns of Scam - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Washoe County Sheriff's Office Warns of Scam

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The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is investigating reports of a suspicious person going door to door in the Cold Springs area, posing as an alarm company inspector.

According to reports from area residents, the man wears a white ID badge on a lanyard around his neck and insists that public safety providers will no longer respond to the residence if the homeowner does not allow him access to their security system.  

This type of behavior is completely inconsistent with the way alarm companies do business. It is extremely unusual for an alarm company representative to show up at your door unannounced. If there is an issue with a security system, alarm companies will typically notify the homeowner directly by phone and set up an appointment if an onsite visit is needed.

If you see criminal or suspicious activity, call non-emergency dispatch at (775) 785-WCSO (9276)or Secret Witness at 322-4900

Door-to-door fundraising and solicitation increases during the summer months. While many of these solicitations are legitimate, others may be illegal solicitors who are perpetuating scams or scouting potential homes for future burglaries.

The Sheriff's Office reminds all homeowners to consider their safety before opening their doors.  Here are some guidelines on how to help protect you and your family from illegal solicitors:

  • If you don't know the person, don't open the door. Never feel obligated to greet an unfamiliar person knocking at your door.
  •  Always keep doors and windows locked. Storm doors or security doors are helpful when dealing with solicitors, because you can see and speak safely through the door. Never allow an unfamiliar person into your house.
  • Solicitors must have a business license and permit. Call your local law enforcement agency if a solicitor is aggressively attempting to get into your home or refusing to show their license/permit.
  • If you are not interested, simply close the door and lock it. You don't owe the person an explanation.
  • Don't expect all perpetrators of door to door sales scams to look the part. Some are clean and well dressed and use special psychological techniques to try to get into your home or get your money.
  • Take a look around the front of your home to see what is visible from the street. If you can see your valuable items through the front windows, so can potential burglars.
  • Residents can put a "no solicitors" sign on their door to help keep solicitors away.

Washoe County residents may also receive information about keeping their families and neighborhoods safer by following the Sheriff's Office on Twitter at: @washoesheriff, or visiting the "Staying Safe" page on the Sheriff's Office website, Washoesheriff.com.  Another important tool for increasing personal and neighborhood security is the free online neighborhood safety service, AlertID. For more information, visit alertid.com.

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office contributed to this story

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