Monday, May 21, 2018

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Police chief warns students about suspicious door-to-door solicitors

Ohio University Police Chief Andrew Powers said that over the past few days, his department has received several reports of suspicious door-to-door solicitation in campus residence halls.

He said that according to witnesses, individuals who appear to be slightly older than college age (mid-20s) have been knocking on room doors, asking to come inside, and then attempting to sell the residents magazine subscriptions. In some cases, the solicitors claim to be college students trying to raise money for their education. In other cases, the solicitors claim to be competing for prizes.

"While we have not had any reports of fraud or other crimes associated with this activity, experience tells us that these types of door-to-door solicitations are often scams," Powers said. "Students are sometimes asked to write checks made out to cash and the subscriptions they purchase never arrive."

Powers said similar solicitors on other college campuses have sometimes turned out to be juvenile runaways from out of state, or persons with warrants.

He said that regardless of who they are, door-to-door solicitation is prohibited in residence halls, and all non-residents are required to have a resident escort at all times. He added that students should be cautious of buying any products or services from door-to-door solicitors.

"Students should call the police immediately if a solicitor presents him/herself at a residence hall room door," Powers said. "They should also close outside residence hall doors behind them when entering and exiting the building and avoid holding the door open for someone they don't know or recognize."

To contact the Ohio University Police Department, call 740-593-1911. Off-campus students can call the Athens Police Department at 740-593-6606 or the Athens County Sheriff at 740-593-6633.