Security Issue Update
Posted on Dec 10th, 2011
As expected, this is a fraudulent type of operation with the main company (or phone number) located in Beaufort Ga. The two individuals were from Tennessee and Missouri. They claimed to be “ selling magazine subscriptions and / or taking contributions to the All Children’s Hospital when confronted by myself and the Sheriff deputy. They totally denied soliciting for a baseball or basketball team to travel to Hawaii, which is exactly what they tell every homeowner they approach. When confronted with those statements, they state that during their magazine sales, they only mentioned “ I liked to play baseball as a kid’. We do have one receipt that indicates the money was for the Sarasota Sluggers Baseball Team. ( no such team exists.)
The operation brings the solicitors into an area by van and picks them up at a designated time. During that time they go door to door trying to get as much money as possible. Their scam is well orchestrated and professional. Their prey is primarily senior citizens.
Needless to say, the operation is a complete scam, designed to fleece anyone who will write a check. This type of thing is difficult to stop, because Sarasota County DOES NOT REQUIRE A PERMIT TO SOLICIT! These people can legally go anywhere they wish as long as there is no fence, or locked gate, including to your front door. They are well schooled in their rights and will stand their ground when confronted. They know a permit is not required.
I feel that between myself and the two deputies, we may have discouraged them sufficiently to move on. Time will tell. It may be possible for action to be taken for soliciting funds under a false pretense. If you have issued a check, please contact the Sheriff’s office and ask to see an officer. Please reiterate that you were solicited for something other than magazine sales, unless that was what they actually said. Be sure to make notes of your encounter, so the deputy will get all the details.
If there are enough people confirming fraudulent solicitation, it is possible criminal action can be taken. Time is of the essence in making your report, as we know there were 4 young men and 2 women working the Key in the last two days. Hopefully, with your help, this operation can be stopped.
If you have issued a check, IMMEDIATELY place a stop on it and contact your bank. It may be necessary to change your accounts to protect your personal information.
These types of activities always exist and probably increase in difficult economic times. It is best not to open your door to unexpected strangers and to make contributions only to valid and verified causes.
Look out for your property and for your neighbors. Report anything you find suspicious IMMEDIATELY. Please be cautious, be safe and have a wonderful holiday season. Hopefully, we have brought this incident to a close. If you have any questions, or if I can be of help, please feel free to contact me.
All the best,
Bob Cheyney Chairman of Security Manasota Key Association