SYRACUSE (ABC4 News) – Representatives from Terminix Pest Control want to set the record straight after several Syracuse residents thought they were being scammed by a man and woman posing as salespeople.
Detective Erin Behm with the Syracuse Police Department said they received a call from a resident who was concerned about an interaction with a Terminix salesperson on March 23rd. The resident reported they had given out payment information and scheduled an appointment with this salesperson.
She said when the resident called Terminix’s customer care number to reschedule, they did not have any recollection of any account or appointment made. The resident canceled the debit card account to be safe and contacted police, thinking they might have been targeted by scammers.
Officials posted a warning on Facebook Tuesday about the incident, before it was shared nearly a thousand times. Resident Erin Lohman said two people matching the description in the Facebook solicited services at her house on the same day. She shared surveillance footage from her home with ABC4 News, thinking she had dodged a potential scam. The individuals in the video were wearing Terminix-branded clothing.
Lohman’s neighbor, Lacey Sprunt said a Terminix salesman knocked her door too, but more than a week later on April 1st. But she said this person had no Terminix logo on their clothing.
“It was a small white and gray checkered shirt. Nothing to signify he was with the company,” said Lohman. “We’ve had different people come by before and they’ve had things to signify who they were with. But not this guy. I didn’t think he was legit. It gave me kind of a weird feeling.”
After ABC4 News inquired with Terminix, a representative clarified that there had been a misunderstanding.
“The Salt Lake City Terminix Branch employs door-to-door sales teams who offer pest control services to local homeowners, book appointments and accept payment for these services.
There can be a lag time of a few hours between the time of sale and the customer being input into the Terminix customer database. We believe the homeowner who alerted local Syracuse authorities contacted Terminix and subsequently the Police Department within that lag time.
We are working to resolve the issue with the customer in question and have also worked with local authorities to share the most up-to-date information.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Syracuse Police Department updated its Facebook post to reflect the clarification.
Det. Behm said there had not been any reported victims that lost money, but noted this was a good opportunity to remind residents about being cautious of door-to-door sales:
Check for a license. If a salesperson comes to your door, first check with them to see if they have a license to sell their product in the city. In Syracuse, they must pay a fee and they are given a badge with their picture, along with the city logo to be displayed on their person. If they do not have this badge, they are selling their services illegally.
Take the time to do research on the company. For example, Terminix is a large company and has a website with contact information to call for verification.
Do not give your personal information out to anyone whom you do not know or trust.
Look for the company’s logo on the shirt/jacket of the seller.
Get names and numbers of those you should contact in case you need to reschedule your times.