OMAHA (KPTM)- Omaha police said they have been getting more complaints about a crime trend involving door to door scams.
In some recent cases people posing as college students are going door to door asking for your personal information and your money. But you shouldn't mistake the scam for a bargain deal.
Lately there have been complaints of people going door to door, claiming to be representatives of the University of Nebraska-Omaha. They say they are selling books and other orders. But they are conning people out of their money. The scams are leaving neighbors disgusted.
"It's really sad. There's always a new scam every time you turn around. If people worked half as hard at a real job as they do of thinking creative scams to get people out of their money, we'd have a much better society," said concerned neighbor Gary Hein.
A UNO spokesperson said the scams pop up often but want to let people know that they aren't affiliated with door to door sales.
Police say the complaints from residents range from assertive behavior to requests for cash, checks and even keys to a car.
"We're trying to tell citizens to be weary about who you're dealing with as far as people coming to your door trying to sell a particular product," said Scott Gray of the Omaha Police Department.
Police said solicitors are aware that they're only allowed to go door to door from 8am to 6pm within city limits. They say one way to avoid a scam, is to ask for identification and a peddlers permit. If they don't have those two things, the scam should be immediately reported to the police.
"People should not be afraid to call 911 to have an officer come out. A lot of people think, ‘well it's not an emergency, I'm going to get in trouble for calling 911.' That's not the case," said Gray.
Police say non-profits like the Boys Scouts are an exception but they recommend being especially aware of the sweet talkers.
"They'll go to a neighbors house and maybe talk to them and get their name or maybe even the names of their kids. And then they'll go tot the next house and say ‘hey I was just speaking to your neighbor Jane and she bought this and we think you should too.' They'll try to really personalize it," said Gray.
Police recommend joining a neighborhood watch group to keep everyone safe and of aware of these kind of situations.
Information on peddlers permits can be found on the Omaha Police Department's web site.
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