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YPD Scam Alert: High-pressure Sales Tactics

YUMA, Ariz. - At approximately 1:10 p.m. on Mar. 3, 2016,  a local business received a call from an unidentified male subject saying he was calling on behalf of the Yuma City Manager.

The male subject said the City Manager instructed him to call in regards to publishing City advertising. When asked who the City Manager is, the caller changed his story and said there must have been some confusion, and that what he meant to say was City of Yuma by way of the City Manager and the Chamber of Commerce. The male subject attempted to get the business to buy into an expensive advertising venture.

The business had received an email the week prior warning about potential scams and recognized this to be a scam and no money was transferred or lost.

It has also come to our attention that there are independent sales people in the Yuma area selling items from a legitimate company, using high pressure sales techniques while in private homes. It starts with winning a drawing or receiving a post card for a free meal at a local restaurant. Then, legitimate fire safety information is presented at the dinner. They offer free home safety inspections but those inspections turn into an intense sales pitch using high pressure tactics, guilt, and playing on people’s fears to sell smoke alarms.

Although this is not a scam, YPD would like to inform the public that if a sales person comes to your residence trying to sell you something you can always ask them to show you their business license. In order to do business within the City of Yuma, one is required to have a license issued by the City. If a sales person tries to pressure you, and you ask them to leave and they do not, call the police.

If you have a concern about your smoke alarms or questions about their function, you can call your local fire department. For the Yuma Fire Department call (928) 373-4850.  A member of the City's Community Risk Reduction division can help answer your questions.

Scams are on the rise and YPD advises the public to be aware of tactics used to separate you from your hard earned money.

Be suspicious if:
• The company has a name that is intended to sound like a government agency or a well-known company.
• Someone claims you've won a prize and you haven't entered a contest
• Someone asks for your credit card number to qualify you for a prize.
• A telemarketer asks for your social security number so you can purchase products or qualify for prizes.
• You have to pay a fee or provide your bank account information before you receive complimentary goods or services.
• You must act on the offer the same day or as soon as possible.
• You receive a check for a larger amount than the sold item, and are being requested to send the remaining balance minus your payment to another person via Western Union or Money Gram.
• Never play a foreign lottery by phone, mail or internet. It is against Federal law and increases your risk of falling victim to the scam.

Some tips are:
• Use common sense.
• Do not trust a stranger.
• If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
• Wait for check, money order, or transaction to be cleared by your bank before sending any money to the unknown person for any reason.
• Check identification.
• Take the necessary steps to ensure the validity of the credit cards being used and transactions being attempted.
• Be cautious when responding to special offers (especially through unsolicited e-mail).
• Try to obtain a physical address rather than merely a post office box and a phone number, call the seller/company to see if the number is correct and working. 
• For additional tips on fraud and identity theft contact some of these links:
Federal Trade Commission at 202-326-2222 or FTC.GOV 
U.S. Postal Inspection Service at http://www.usps.com/postalinspectors/