Watch for fraudulent door-to-door salesmen

Watch for fraudulent door-to-door salesmen Attorney General Larry Long is warning South Dakota consumers about fraudulent door-to-door meat sellers. The pitch is usually that the seller has meat available at cut-rate prices because they were left over from another delivery. The seller is now going door-to-door to offer it to local residents who are fortunate to be on the route that day.

"Consumers need to be skeptical of door-to-door meat sellers," said Long. "Claims of high quality meats at a cut-rate price should be the first sign that this could be a scam. In reality the price usually turns out to be very high per pound and if the consumer does not figure this out immediately, it may be difficult to cancel the contract."

Follow these tips to avoid being scammed:


* Be cautious of door-to-door meat sellers who make random stops. There are several legitimate companies that sell door-to-door, but you still need to be cautious.


* Compare the door-to-door prices to those at the supermarket and remember that the price per pound is the most important figure. If the company refuses to provide these numbers then refuse to do business with them.


* Demand to see a copy of the contract to determine if the three-day-right to cancel is included. If the seller refuses to provide the documentation then end the sales presentation. South Dakota law allows the consumer three business days to cancel any door-to-door purchase.


* Get itemized lists of the exact quantities and grade of beef they are selling.


* Beware that some door-to-door meat sellers refuse to give refunds; they will only replace meat. Consumers have filed complaints alleging that one batch of poor quality meat was replaced with a second batch of poor quality meat.


* Beware of any door-to-door seller who will not refund your purchase price if you are not satisfied.


* Don't be pressured into signing anything without reading the fine print. Interest rates can make the cost of your meat increase even more. Be sure you know what the final cost of the meat will be.

Remember, legitimate companies should give you all the information you need and never pressure you into making a decision. Before doing business, call the Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-300-1986 or consumerhelp@state.sd.us.

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