Harwinton Officials Warn Of Door-To-Door ‘Scam’

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There’s a fictitious fundraiser circulating via door-to-door sales in Harwinton, according to First Selectman Michael Criss.

Criss took to his Facebook page to warn residents about some shady door-to-door book sales.

He warned of high pressure sales tactics, lies and bogus receipts.

“They’re not associated with the schools at all, and they’ve been basically letting people know that if they buy their product from them it benefits the school system,” says Criss.

Criss says they had a similar incident last year in town, so the town passed a strict peddling ordiance, mandating a permit for door-to-door sales.

But it didn’t stop salesmen from coming back this summer.

“The gentleman who that came to sell in Harwinton that wanted to pull the permit, refused the fingerprinting and refused the background check and walked out. Next thing we know we got a report that he was selling in the area without the permit,” says Criss.

Criss showed Fox CT a photo of the suspect and his Nebraska driver’s license.

Two hours later, our Fox CT crew coincidentally came across a man who fit the description and soon after, acknowledged that he’s selling the books in the area.

He agreed to speak with Fox CT.

“I’m just marketing educational products to families. I let every family that I talk to know that I’m not with the schools and that it’s nothing that they’re required to get,” said salesman Manuel Medina.

He introduced himself as an employee of Southwestern Advantage – a direct sales company.

Basically, he solicits door to door.

The big question is whether he’s truly claiming to represent Region 10 schools.

“I’ve never claimed that. I honestly – every single family that I sit down with or if anybody asks me, I blatantly will say, no, I’m not with the schools and this is nothing you’re required to get,” says Medina.

But the first selectman says families told him otherwise, so he’s working with resident state troopers to keep the sellers away.

“They’re not leaving the properties. They’re staying there, and they’re really harassing the residents of the town of Harwinton,” says Criss.


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