By Jeff Shultz
The Garvin County Sheriff’s Office is warning county residents, especially those living in the Pauls Valley area, to be aware of a possible scam artist making his way from door-to-door using high-pressure sales tactics and intimidating those he speaks to.
“We received several reports of a man going door to door north and west of Pauls Valley on Monday evening,” Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes said.
Callers to the Sheriff’s Office reported a person soliciting to rural residents and were very “persistent and aggressive in his approach.”
“Some of the callers were frightened by the actions of the person,” Rhodes said.
The suspect is described as a white male, carrying a backpack and driving in a white colored four-door vehicle with an out of state tag.
Rhodes said the incidents were similar in nature to reports of the same type of person in McClain and Cleveland Counties over the past weekend.
“In those incidents, authorities have identified by name the individual who is contacting residents at their rural homes,” Rhodes said.
Rhodes wants to remind residents of the importance of practicing home safety and watching their neighbor’s property.
County residents are asked to call their local law enforcement immediately if they observe activity they feel is suspicious.
“While we believe this person is conducting sales calls in the area, my office would like to make contact with him to verify his intentions and inform him of trespassing laws,” Rhodes added.
The Garvin County Sheriff’s Office may be reached at 405-238-9000 or 911 if it is an emergency.
Meanwhile, Rhodes is offering the following safety tips when dealing with strangers coming to your door.
•The number one rule is do not open doors to strangers. If there is an emergency and someone needs to use the phone, call for him or her.
•Always have your screen door and your entry door locked at all times. Use a window or a peephole to identify your visitor.
•Install a surveillance system and outdoor lighting at each entrance that gives you a facial and full view of visitors.
•If you order products to be delivered to your home set up a place for the deliveries that allows them to drop the package off. This will prevent the need to answer your door. •Remember you are under no obligation to answer your door to strangers.
•Don’t rely on credentials or cards that are shown, IDs can easily be faked.
•If home alone, call a friend or family member and talk with them on the phone until the person’s reason to be at your door is determined.