Brazil City Police Chief Terry Harrison warns local residents to be aware that spring-like temperatures bring out more than flowers.
"It's warmer and that means door-to-door scam artists are outside more," Harrison said about several recent reports filed at the department. "We've had reports of people going door-to-door soliciting for donations."
Harrison said a recent ongoing investigation centers around a female suspect "collecting donations" for local churches.
"Once we verified no one was collecting money for any local churches, a suspect was arrested on several outstanding warrants. The case is being reviewed by the Clay County Prosecutor's Office for possible fraud charges," Harrison said.
In the past, Harrison said scam artists have used various types of scams in the area, including:
* Offering to perform common home improvement projects at unbelievably low prices,
* Posing as utility workers to inspect homes then charging an enormous fee for the inspection or committing robberies once inside the home, and
* Soliciting for donations for legitimate causes.
Although, according to one city ordinance, all non-profit solicitors and door-to-door salesman are required to provide proper credentials and register at the Brazil City Clerk/Treasurer's Office, Harrison said it is difficult to enforce the ordinance.
"We don't know that people from out of town come here to do this until the calls start coming in to the department." Harrison said. "I strongly urge anyone who has someone come to their door asking for donations to ask to check their identification or call to check if they are registered at the clerk's office. If the group these people are collecting for is legit, they will understand and won't mind being asked."
To report a scam artist at work in the city, contact the Brazil City Police Department at 446-2211. County residents who are victims of scam artists can contact the Clay County Sheriff's Department at 446-2535.