Sheriff: Homeowners Victims Of Door-To-Door Sales Ruse

Recent Scams Target Elderly In New Market, Fort Valley

Posted: October 19, 2013

A few recent issues have made the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office take to Facebook to warn residents to beware of anyone going door to door claiming to sell goods or services or to ask for work.


In the past week, the office has received three calls regarding people who have asked to go inside people’s homes, said Lt. D.L. Dellinger of the sheriff’s office. In two cases, elderly homeowners in Fort Valley and New Market allowed them inside and later discovered that prescription drugs had been stolen, he said.


Whether it’s a request to use the bathroom, a sales pitch or something else, homeowners have no obligation to let any stranger inside their home at any time, Dellinger said.


“We want people to be aware that you don’t have to let anyone in your house,” he said. “If you do have someone coming to your door soliciting, they need to have a permit.”


These aren’t isolated incidents. A few months ago, three people claiming to be selling vinyl flooring entered a home and one individual went through the basement and stole money, Dellinger said. Similar cases have happened since then, too, where people have asked to use the bathroom as a front to get inside the house and snoop or steal.


In a few cases, multiple individuals have worked together to distract residents while one goes through items and takes things of value, Dellinger said. No one has been arrested in the theft cases occurring in the past week, but the investigation is ongoing.


The office is asking residents to report salespeople who come to their doors without permits.


Recently, the sheriff’s office charged three people from Maryland trying to sell vacuum cleaners with soliciting without a permit.


Dellinger directed anyone with questions about permits to contact the Sheriff’s Office, which can be reached at (540) 459-6100.


Contact Kassondra Cloos at 574-6290 or

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