St. George Police issue safety warning to residents, shoppers

ST. GEORGE – Shoppers and residents in the St. George area are being asked to exercise caution while in parking lots and public spaces following multiple reports of possible scammers approaching residents with business propositions.

A warning issued by the St. George Police Department Monday reported that these individuals have been approaching customers in parking lots and public spaces and attempting to convince them to purchase items or vehicle maintenance.

“These people have been described as ‘very pushy’ and persistent,” the press statement said.

All businesses in the City of St. George are required to hold proper licensing with the local municipality, St. George Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Sam Despain said. If an unlicensed party is conducting business without the proper credentials, they are in violation of the law and subject to due process.

General standards exist for licensure, but each city and county also has unique requirements and procedures, the press release said. These standards are in place for the protection of both citizens and business owners.

This time of year, with all of the hustle and bustle, can be a good time for scam-artists to take advantage of consumers, Despain said. It is important for shoppers and residents to stay cautious and alert authorities to any incidents that raise a red flag.

“So far, we have only had reports of people who were trying to do this,” he said. “But nobody, so far, has necessarily fallen victim to this.”

Residents should never show a stranger where they live, give out personal information about themselves, or follow a stranger to an undisclosed area of any kind, according to the safety warning. All of these things place citizens at risk, and leaves them vulnerable to a possible crime.

“If someone approaches you,” the statement said, “do not hesitate to request to see their business license or to contact the police department at 435-627-4300 to have an officer respond to verify the status of the business.”

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18 Comments

  • ladybugavenger December 29, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Stranger danger

  • Just Me.... December 29, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    You know what’s really sad…if you take the time to look at who is approaching you, it is likely a kid under/around 20 who was ‘recruited’ by gypsy scammers…I am not kidding…and now cannot escape. They are essentially pimped out and treated horribly. If they don’t sell this stuff then they aren’t allowed to call home, to even eat. They make them sleep in cars (even in this weather) and diminish their self-esteem until they don’t even try to leave. It is essentially prostitution. If you want to help flat out ask them if they need to call someone. Buy them a hamburger. Ask if they need a way home. Greyhound will help. Law enforcement will help (but they have been conditioned to fear the police). Ask if they need help…even if they decline your offer they might accept it from the next kind person. I’m not naive…google it.

    • gypsy girl December 29, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      Gypsy scammers are in west Virginia… Not all Gypsy’s are scammers… Just some. Google only has the bad things about Gypsy’s.

  • laytonian December 29, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Things like this are a tax on the stupid and gullible.
    Obviously, many Utahns do not have a necessary healthy skepticism.

  • Officer McGruff December 29, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Take a bite out of crime and don’t tolerate this scam. Report it to the police.

  • asianspa December 29, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Why don’t they issue warnings for other scams like boiler room scams that so many Utahn businessmen enjoy the profits from? Why do we have such intolerance towards frauds and crimes on the street yet we have a soft spot for white collar so called businessmen building boiler room empires?

  • arts and letters December 29, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    And there are also the pushy people who knock on your door and want to sell you their religion. Beware…

    • Albemarle December 29, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      @ Arts and Letters, better check your facts: Mormon Missionaries “sell” nothing; offer to share their beliefs; are not pushy. You are wrong all the way around. While I am not interested in what they have to say, they are NOT as you describe. You seem a little bitter.

      • Why are you defensive? December 29, 2014 at 10:32 pm

        Where did he say Mormon missionaries? The group that came to my mind was Jehovah Witnesses…

      • youreSOfunny December 30, 2014 at 2:46 am

        umm maybe not all of them but 99 percent of them and most LDS are pushy as hell and judgmental basket cases. Somehow by the grace of GOD my family never was converted. There were many attempts even though we have a religion, it just wasn’t theirs so it wasn’t good enough. I had to go to LDS church for two years. Not for me at all. I enjoy my freedom and identity thank you.

    • koolaid December 29, 2014 at 11:22 pm

      Some turn out to be adept at scamming people and bilking them of their money. Worst ones are in Utah and often associated with a church.

    • IN THE GAME December 31, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      Arts and Letters you are right on with this one. Those same Jehovah Witness folks came to my door and I couldn’t get them to leave until I purchased a Watchtower magazine.

  • ladybugavenger December 29, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Oh my, have I missed seeing the gypsies in st George?

  • Evil twins mommy December 29, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    LOL I just had a Cher flashback

  • sagemoon December 30, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Shoot, between all the shady sales people and missionaries from various religious organizations, I don’t even answer my door anymore unless I’m expecting a pizza.

    • Joe Smith December 30, 2014 at 11:11 am

      No kidding, right?! I had to put a huge sign on my door to ward off those door to door idiots. Horrible people.

  • maryjane December 30, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    There was a man always holding a sign saying he just ran out of gas and he was constantly at the Bloomington Walmart and the Flying J. He passed out little cards that said he was a painter-I was curious and checked him out. Phone number no good and no business license. He has also been at the Washington Walmart parking lot. He has a white van. BEWARE

    • IN THE GAME December 31, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Yes we need to be very aware of the man in the white van… He offered me candy at the Bloomington Walmart. Then he wanted to show me a rabbit in his pocket.

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