Scams - What to look for....

Be Informed

The Dickinson County Sheriff Department wants the citizens of Dickinson County to be aware and is informing the public of specific fraudulent activity occurring in Dickinson County. As summer approaches citizens are applicable to a variety of frauds, cons and confidence schemes, commonly perpetrated to entice an unsuspecting person to part with his or her hard-earned money.

Potential victims may be contacted in person on the street, at home through door-to-door solicitations, or via the telephone, mail or Internet. Citizens should be suspicious of any plan, idea, scheme, business deal, or proposition that requires you to provide or send money, make a financial decision, or sign a contract on short notice.

Helpful Tips

The following tips are intended to improve your chances of not becoming the victim of a scam:
  • Realize scam artists are extremely convincing professionals. To them, everyone is a potential mark, and they especially prey on senior citizens. Victims frequently tell investigating officers, "I never thought I could or would be victimized."
  • Suspect all "Get Rich Fast" schemes. "If it sounds too good to be true, it is," and you are most likely being scammed.
  • Never allow strangers inside your home, and always lock your doors (both the front and back) when doing yard work, getting the mail, or anytime you go outside.
  • Be suspicious of all "door - to-door" (magazine, alarm company, etc.) peddlers/solicitors.
  • Ask door-to-door peddlers and solicitors to produce some type of identification, also most cities within Dickinson County require a soliciting license issued by that city clerk.
  • Aggressive peddling or soliciting is unlawful. If the activity continues after you have made a negative response and you feel threatened or intimidated, dial 9-1-1.
  • Display a "No Peddlers / Solicitors" sign at the primary entrance of your residence if you prefer not to be contacted. Once posted, all unsolicited peddler or solicitor contact is unlawful.
  • Be wary of any unexpected contact with strangers (in person or by any other means).
  • Beware of unsolicited home repairmen. Be suspicious of anyone knocking at your door asking to make repairs to your home and/or asking to pave or seal your driveway, repair your roof, trim your trees, or treat your home for termites.
  • Check to see if the repair person or business you are considering hiring is licensed.
  • Ask for local references and call them
  • Get several repair estimates and compare prices.
  • Always talk with a trusted friend or relative before making major money decisions.
  • Be very suspicious of high pressure sales tactics.
  • Pay by check so you can stop payment if dissatisfied; Never pay cash.
  • Print "Deposit Only" on the back of personal checks to create a "paper trail."
  • Be sure the work is completed to your satisfaction before you pay.
  • Never sign any contract or agreement without carefully checking it.
  • Be sure you understand and agree to all provisions in a contract or sales agreement. If you don't understand the fine print, seek assistance from legal counsel or someone you trust.
  • Remember , by law you have three days to cancel a door-to-door contract/agreement to purchase, and the door-to-door seller must advise of your right to cancel in writing.
  • Write down the license plate number of any suspicious vehicle(s) the suspect(s) may be operating.
  • Example of Scam #1
  • Example of Scam #2
Immediately call the Dickinson County Sheriff Department to report a suspicious person or suspected fraud!