Cable TV scammers potentially targeting St. George consumers

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ST. GEORGE — TDS Telecom customers in the St. George area are currently being targeted in what is believed to be a scam.

TDS Telecom customers and residents in the St. George area have been receiving deceptive calls and home visits regarding TDS, said DeAnne R. Boegli, a national public relations manager for TDS Telecom.

TDS acquired Baja Broadband in 2013, and Baja officially changed to TDS in May. Some of the company’s customers have been contacted, told that TDS will no longer be offering cable TV, and encouraged to switch companies.

Boegli said the information is incorrect, and she believes some of the offers are scams because customers were asked for credit card and other information upfront.

“So, we’re just warning people to be on the lookout and to be very careful when approached,” Boegli said.

If residents are approached about switching cable providers, Boegli said, they should make sure to verify it is a legitimate offer.

“Obviously, there are other people out there offering (cable TV) services,” Boegli said. “They want to make sure it would be a reputable company if they were to change. But, certainly, they don’t need to switch from their TDS services.”

 The company issued this warning:

The callers are claiming to work for another satellite provider and saying TDS will no longer be offering cable TV services in the area. This is not true. TDS is committed to improving and providing local Internet, TV and phone services in Southern Utah for many years to come. We urge anyone who receives one of these calls or visits not to provide any account or credit card information to avoid having your identity or other personal information compromised. If you have received a call and given out your information, please contact your bank or credit card company to alert them. 

Marc Mortensen, assistant to the city manager for the City of St. George, said the city has not received any complaints regarding this alleged scam and it may just be a marketing ploy, but he encourages residents to be cautious.

“My advice would be to not be forthcoming with your credit card information; verify that it’s a legitimate service,” Mortensen said.

Residents should take the time to verify that a company is legitimate. Consumers can check with their city officials to make sure a business is licensed and registered, call the Better Business Bureau, or check a company’s state licensing.

Door-to-door: Sales or scams?

According to the Utah Department of Commerce Division of Consumer Protection, there is an increase in door-to-door scams during the warm summer months. Some scammers say they’re selling magazines for charity or offer to do yardwork to help pay for members of a local sports team to take a trip. Additionally, the division has been made aware of problems associated with sales of alarm systems and other home improvement services.

The scammers typically use deceptive practices to make consumers believe they are worthy of charity, such as identifying themselves as a relative of a neighbor down the street.

Some of the tactics used by these companies who go door to door are:

  • They use high pressure sales tactics to convince you to buy.
  • They say you have a right to cancel anytime when your contract doesn’t state that.
  • If they don’t tell you that you can cancel anytime, they also don’t tell you what it will cost if you try to cancel.
  • They sell you an “upgrade” to your current system when they are not the company that sold you your system, so now you have two contracts.
  • They sell you a “discounted” price if you put a sign in your yard for six months but don’t tell you the cost if you decide to cancel.

Some tips to avoid scams:

  • Read and understand contracts before you sign
  • Verify the company you are dealing with
  • Check references
  • Ask the Better Business Bureau whether there are complaints against the company
  • Don’t pay money upfront

Resources

  • TDS Telecom — To talk to a TDS representative about questions or concerns, call 877-422-5282 or stop by the local TDS office at 111 W. 700 South, St. George.
  • City of St. George Business Licensing can be reached at 435-627-4740 or through the main city phone line at 435-627-4000 — ask for Business Licensing.
  • Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code, business search Web page
  • Contact the Better Business Bureau
  • Find scams near you with the BBB Scam Tracker

Related posts

Email: japplegate@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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5 Comments

  • fun bag July 28, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Door to door peddlers are like parasites. I wish there were some kind of poison bate traps that I could set out for them. Leg-hold traps are banned I think. The sign on the door only works part of the time.

  • Ladyk July 28, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    I had a guy come to the door and tell me he was from Dish Network and was there to check on my equipment. He kept trying to push his way into my home. I asked why I hadn’t received a call from Dish telling me that someone would be coming. He then said he was there to see if he could save me money on my monthly bill but had to see my equipment first, still trying to push his way into my home. I asked for his company ID. Then he said he worked for a secondary provider and could offer me a lower bill through a different provider. I again asked for ID. He had a small hand held computer and said ” how would I have your address if I wasn’t ligitimate. I looked at it and since it didn’t have my name I said “all you did was type in my address when you got here”. He continued to try to push on my door to be let in. I told him I was calling the police and he said ” fine I will just shut off your service then” and left as I was dialing the police. An officer came and I explained what happened and he went out and found the guy. He was standing around a large van with a bunch of other guys all who had been doing the same thing to other people. Even though he had been trying to scam me and totally misrepresented who he was the only thing the police officer said he could get him for was not having a permit to operate inside the city limits. If nothing else ask for their permit so you can know they went to the city and explained what they would be doing and got a permit. That way if it is a scam you can identify who they are. Don’t let anyone inside your home unless you can verify who they are and exactly what company they work for. Any company that you already do business with will usually let you know in advance that someone is coming to see you.

    • fun bag July 28, 2015 at 10:15 pm

      Any one of those little crackhead peddlers could be a rapist or burglar or worse. I’ve had the little beggars trying to peddle all kind of useless crap at me! horrible! Door to door peddling (basically begging) is not socially acceptable in this day and age.

    • sagemoon July 29, 2015 at 8:28 am

      Scary!

  • Free Parking July 29, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    I love it when them scumbags walk up my sidewalk I just open the door and let the dogs loose… LOL.! It’s priceless to see them turn and run for the gate. I do the same thing to missionaries. LOL.!

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