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High-pressure salesperson targets elderly

High-pressure salesperson targets elderly

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - A salesperson wouldn't take no for an answer at one Idaho Falls apartment complex on Tuesday night.

Rosslare Apartments were likely targeted because it caters to the elderly and disabled. Residents said a woman in her early 20s driving a van with Washington plates combed the complex.

"She came and knocked on my door," said Larue Bate. "I opened the door and she wanted to know if I wanted to buy some books."

She said the salesperson didn't frighten her, though.

"It was a young girl. I probably could have taken her," she said.

Bate told the woman no and asked her to leave, pointing out the no soliciting sign on the building.

"I don't play that game," said Bate.

But the woman didn't stop.

"I had five residents at my office desk," said Building Manager Melody Gyorfy.

One resident told her she was so scared she gave the woman all the money she had for groceries this month, just to make her leave.

"Oh, I was really mad," said Gyorfy.

The complex is set back pretty far from the road. It takes quite a bit of effort to get up to the units themselves.

"The thing that really makes me angry was they were knocking on their outside doors," said Gyorfy.

Idaho Falls police spokeswoman Joelyn Hansen said you should never have to guess whether salespeople are legitimate. They need a city permit.

If door-to-door salespeople aren't wearing a badge with a photo and information, they're illegally soliciting. It takes a background check to get one.

"It goes through the FBI. It weeds out their criminal history," said Hansen.

Bate said the woman from Tuesday night didn't have a badge, and although while her high pressure tactics didn't frighten, they did upset.

"It's really bad when people try to take advantage of older people," said Bate.

The best piece of advice: If you want to say no to a salesperson, say no. If the salesperson won't take no for an answer, call the police.

If you have any information about unlicensed solicitors in the Idaho Falls city limits, call police at (208) 529-1200.

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