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WKYT Reality Check: Summer scams

RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - They seem to surface in the summer - scam artists out to take your money, your personal information, sometimes your identity.

We've been getting calls into our newsroom about scam artists making the rounds. In a WKYT Reality Check, a Richmond woman describes to us who came knocking on her door.

"I hadn't been home maybe two minutes. Walked through the door, shut the door," explained Chelsea Hood. Hood was home alone in Richmond at the time. "She had blonde hair pulled up, blue jean shorts, and she said, 'are you gonna be hateful like the rest of the houses that I've stopped at around here?'"

The woman told Hood she was in a contest and needed votes.

"Her story didn't make any sense. She got to the point where she said, 'if you could donate magazines or books to a children's hospital or someone in need, what would you donate?'"

Hood chose a set of princess books the woman showed her on paper.

"She wrote my name down, she wrote my telephone number down, and she wrote down the books that I had chose. And she said, 'well, okay that'll be $60.' She said, 'no check, no charge card, just cash.'"

Hood was afraid the scam artists she spoke to were going to homes in other neighborhoods, too. So she filed a report with police.

"We have door-to-door salesmen that go around year round, not just in the summer. I think a lot of people get caught at home during the summer because they're out more, and you get confronted more often by the salespeople, but it happens year round," explains Richmond Police Assistant Chief Bob Mott.

If someone's selling something, Richmond Police Assistant Chief Bob Mott says they have to have a business license.

"It'll have the Richmond seal on it, it'll say when it was issued that sort of thing, and the business name it's issued to. You know the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, or church organization, those people you can probably vet out pretty quickly, but if it's some kind of company or business, they're required to have a business license with the city of Richmond and they're supposed to present it whenever requested."

Hood says the scam artist didn't have any hand-outs, never identified an actual business, and never gave specifics about what organization she was raising money for.

"If they don't have a business license, some kind of company ID or whatever I would be worried about it or concerned," notes Chief Mott.

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