Deceptive door-to-door solicitor targets Lafayette woman, credit score drops

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An Acadiana woman is speaking out after deceptive door-to-door alarm solicitors targeted her and other residents in her neighborhood.

Lynn Gorencel says a man knocked on her door claiming to be an ADT salesperson.

As News Ten found out, he wasn’t.

What’s worse, she gave this man her birthday and minutes later, her credit score went down.

“It was an invasion. I did not authorize those people to go into my personal credit information,” Gorencel explained.

A creepy feeling… as Gorencel described how a deceptive alarm solicitor tried to sell her security services.

The salesperson claimed he was doing business with nearby neighbors.

Gorencel added, “I allowed him to give me an estimate. I never agreed to do any business with him whatsoever, and he said, ‘well, I’ll put you in the system,’ and I assumed it was for just the quote.”

In the conversation, the salesperson asked Gorencel for her birthday.

“I kind of thought ‘well, okay, everybody knows my birthday.’ I didn’t think it was that unusual, so I gave it to him and about an hour after he left, I received notice through the Credit Karma that I use, and they said that you had a hard inquiry on your credit report, and so I checked into it and it said Safe Streets did a hard inquiry on your credit report,” she recalls.

Immediately, Gorencel contacted ADT who reassured her it was not them.

“My credit score dropped five points, and then so the next day I called the company Safe Streets and tried to get the credit inquiry removed. Well, they told me they could not remove it,” she said.

Gorencel gave no written consent nor social security number to the salesperson.

“He said, ‘well, we don’t need your Social Security number. All we need is your birthday,'” explained Gorencel.

Chris Babin, with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, said, “In order for somebody to run your credit and get that information on you, you do have to authorize that and sign some type of paperwork.”

Gorencel says she made a dispute with Equifax. They told her they were not allowed to remove any credit inquiry. That it was up to the inquiring business to take that off.

Now, the Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government – Code of Ordinances – Chapter 70, Sec. 70-61. – Required. states:

“It shall be unlawful for any peddler, solicitor and/or door-to-door vendor to offer for sale and/or rental, exhibit for sale and/or rental or exhibit for the purpose of taking orders for sale and/or rental, any goods, merchandise and/or services without first obtaining a permit from the customer service division of the city-parish consolidated government.”

Some tips to help you avoid deceptive door-to-door alarm solicitors:

  • Make sure you confirm a representative is really affiliated with a company, ask to see their official identification.
  • Watch out for high-pressure sales tactics.
  • Request written materials on products and services.

The Better Business Bureau says many legitimate companies sell door-to-door, but some scammers use that ruse to trick their victims.

If you have a scam you’d like me to investigate, feel free to send me an email at smasters@klfy.com.

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