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Consumer protection agency issues warning, highlights warmer weather scam techniques

Continued warm temperatures provide increased opportunities for scammers to take money from Carbon County consumers.

When the weather started to warm, the Utah Division of Consumer Protection indicated that the state agency received reports of scammers going door to door selling magazines for charity or offering to do yard work to help pay for members of a local sports team to take a trip.

Similar questionable activities continue throughout the summer and early fall.

The scammers typically use deceptive practices to make people believe that they are worthy of charitable donations, pointed out the state consumer protection agency.

Examples include identifying themselves as a relative of a neighbor down the street.

In addition, the division has been made aware of problems associated with sales of alarm systems and other home improvements.

Some of the tactics used by the questionable companies who send people door-to-door include:

•Using high pressure sales tactics to convince consumers to buy.

•Claiming consumers have a right to cancel anytime when their contract doesn't contain the provision.

•Failing to tell consumers what it will cost them if they try to cancel.

•Attempting to sell consumers an "upgrade" to current systems.

The questionable door-to-door salespeople do not represent the company that sold the original systems and consumers end up with two separate contracts.

•Offering a discounted price if residents put an advertising sign in their yards for six months.

However, the salespeople do not tell consumers the cost they will have to cover if they decide to cancel, advised the state agency.

Consumer protection encourages Carbon County residents to consumer several follow several steps to avoid falling victim to the scams.

The state agency recommends that local consumers:

•Read and understand all contracts before signing.

•Verify the company before dealing with representatives.

•Check references.

•Never pay money up front for products or services.

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