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Couple makes locals wary

During the past few weeks, dozens of Nevada County residents have become the targets of two door-to-door salespeople who will say anything ” including fabricating stories ” to sell books and magazine subscriptions, according to several residents.

A young man and a young woman, reported by residents to look to be in their late teens or early 20s, have been knocking on the doors in Alta Sierra, Nevada City and most recently Lake Wildwood, according to Jeff Findley, head of Lake Wildwood Security.

Lake Wildwood security guards escorted the man and woman out of the gated community last Thursday, Findley said, after a resident confronted one of them about their alleged lies.



No arrests were made, although Findley has prepared a report of the incident that will be forwarded to the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, he said.

The pair, never seen selling together, tell people they are friendly neighbors working with the Las Vegas sales company “Integrity PGM” trying to raise money for an ever-changing list of good causes, including their college education, American soldiers in Iraq or cancer treatment, residents say.




But according to people who were pitched by the sales people, the two don’t live anywhere near where they’re selling, they fabricate connections to other neighbors,

and there is no proof the money they collect will go anywhere but into their pockets.

The Integrity PGM Web site at http://www.integritypgm.com does not list a phone number for contact, but it does say: “This company does not sponsor any scholarships, tuition fees or participate in any educational programs in affiliation with any school or institution. Participant is not permitted to state or imply such.”

Integrity PGM could not be reached for comment.

“Normally I wouldn’t have fallen for it, but she was just so friendly,” said Edna Dutillieul, a Nevada City resident who was visited last week by the saleswoman at her home on the 12000 block of Mayflower Drive.

The day happened to be the two-year anniversary of her husband’s death.

“I was in a vulnerable state of mind that day,” Dutillieul said.

The girl, who was very talkative, told Dutillieul she was trying to raise money for a trip to London and that she would return from her trip to share pictures from her scrapbook.

The children’s books she was selling, the girl said, would be sent to the Cancer Center at Sutter Sacramento.

“She told me her mother lived around the corner on Butterfly Drive ” the little yellow house on the right,” Dutillieul said.

Later, Dutillieul confirmed, there was no little yellow house.

“She told me I would probably recognize her mother as she walked her two golden

retrievers past my house all the time,” she said.

After she handed the girl a check for $54 and she was on her way, Dutillieul couldn’t recall any woman who walked golden retrievers in front of her house.

Sandra Ross, a resident of Keenan Way in Alta Sierra, also was visited by a salesperson last week.

Instead of a friendly young girl, this was a young blond man who said he lived right around the corner and was selling children’s books to raise funds for his trip to

London.

Ross, who has no children, said she had no need for children’s books.

“He said he’d donate the books to the children at Sierra Nevada Hospital,” she said.

“He really sucked me in. I’ve never been taken before like that.”

After she handed him a check for $62, the boy asked if he could sit down inside her house because his back hurt. Then he began looking around her house, she said, and she was suddenly uncomfortable.

“I felt something strange after check was handed over,” Ross said. “I thought, ‘I don’t know if this is a good idea.'”

Both Ross and Dutillieul canceled payment on their checks.

The checks had not been cashed, so there was no harm to the women’s

pocketbooks.

Their trust in others, however, sustained plenty of damage.

“I unfortunately learned that you cannot trust anyone,” Dutillieul said.

“I will never be taken like that again,” Ross said.

Sheriff’s dispatchers say they don’t recall receiving any calls recently about door-to door scams. Grass Valley Police Sgt. Scott Telles said he did not know of any reports

made to the Grass Valley Police Department.

Findley, the Wildwood security guard, said anyone else who encounters the

salespeople should report them to the sheriff’s office at 265-7880.

ooo

To contact Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail robynm@theunion.com or call 477-4236.


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