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Forum staff reports, Published May 30 2010

Police advise caution regarding sales crews

Fargo police are warning residents to be wary of giving out personal information after receiving several calls about suspicious people in neighborhoods.

Sgt. Jeff Skuza said police received at least three calls Friday and another Saturday morning after residents reported suspicious activity and possible scams.

Several crews of door-to-door salespeople are canvassing the Fargo-Moorhead area and offering products such as magazines and cleaning supplies.

One recently approached Skuza in his garage after he returned home. The woman attempted to spray a cleaning product on his vehicle before he told the woman to leave.

He said news of North Dakota’s success during a downturn in the economy, along with the reputation of friendly people, attracts outside sales groups.

“The expectation is North Dakota is flush with money,” Skuza said.

However, some of the salespeople exhibit strange behavior, prompting calls to police.

He suggests residents be wary of scams.

“Be careful of what you buy, who you buy it from and who you give your information to,” Skuza said.

In addition, those doing business in the state must comply with North Dakota’s transient merchants’ law.

Previously, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has said door-to-door sales operations have used misleading and high-pressure sales tactics.

His office offers the following advice when approached by door-to-door salespeople: