Fake salesmen target the elderly - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Fake salesmen target the elderly


A major scam is putting up walls in one community. It involves fake salesmen who use a pitch to get into your home and steal your valuables. 

One of the victims is so distraught by this scam she had a shot gun in hand when NBC12 approached her home. 

She said not only did these men intrude on her home but they also invaded her trust.

The 83-year-old victim says two men, posed as floor salesmen, came to her door in late October plotting to sell flooring but it really turned out to be a wall of doubt so strong she now has a rifle at arm's reach.  She doesn't want to be identified. For safety purposes, we'll call her Jane.

"Yeah, I can't even get over it. I can't. I don't know why," said Jane.

Jane says the men persuaded her with charm and familiarity. One even claimed he used to be her paper boy and kept calling her mother. 

"Oh mother yes," Jane said.  

After the two entered, Jane says they unfolded the 8'X7' material and stretched it from her front window to the kitchen.

"He was in the doorway leaning up," Jane added.

They were telling her all about the "product" while blocking her view from the front door and the hallway leading to the bedroom.

"I was sitting there. I couldn't see anything," Jane noted.

As the two men were explaining the vinyl flooring, another guy was coming in from the other side but you could never tell because it was so tall you couldn't see over it.

Jane says the thief ran back to her bedroom stealing cherished jewelry and money from her safe. The damage was done in about 10 minutes.

Sgt. Whitley with the Hanover County Sheriff's office says anyone who's going door to door to sell a product must have a soliciting permit.

"You need to know who's at your door," said Sgt. Whitley. "There is no obligation for you to open your door to someone you don't know."

"I hope somebody catches him," Jane added.

Investigators say an elderly couple was also targeted with the same sales scam back in March.

They say the two suspects are white men - one between 35 and 45-years old, and the other was between 18 and 25.  

If you have any information that could lead to an arrest, call the Hanover County Sheriff's office at: 365-6140.

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