FoCo Sheriff’s Office warning: don’t buy pine straw from workers knocking on your door

Justine Lookenott

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The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office has posted a BOLO (be on the lookout) concerning pine straw scams(Image by Michelle Hall)

(Forsyth County, GA) The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office has posted a BOLO (be on the lookout) concerning pine straw scams.

According to the Facebook post, scammers are approaching houses and offering the owners a deal to lay pine straw around the yard on a price-per-bale basis. When they are done, they claim it took more bales than usual and try to charge the homeowner hundreds or even thousands more than originally quoted.

Two males were reported for attempting the scheme in Forsyth County around Kelly Mill Road and Chamblee Gap Road on Thursday, August 4 around 4 p.m.

The Sheriff’s Office advises homeowners to avoid unsolicited offers and only hire services from verified landscaping companies.

Last year, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr put out an alert over the scams, which were taking place statewide. He noted that some of the scammers would use intimidation tactics to get the homeowners to pay them the extra money.

“Our office encourages consumers to be on the lookout for these types of door-to-door solicitations…” said Carr. “If it sounds too good to be true, it is likely a scam, and if you feel threatened or harassed, please call local law enforcement immediately.”

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The Georgia Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division advises those being harassed by pine straw scammers to call 911(Image by Michelle Hall)

The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division advised the following to avoid being scammed:

  • Ask to see the solicitation permit issued by the City, if applicable
  • Ask to see a business card and make sure you get the name of the business and the employee
  • Ask for the business’ website and check it out
  • Check the Secretary of State’s website to see if the person has a business license
  • Check Better Business Bureau’s website (bbb.org) to see if there are any complaints against the business
  • Before someone starts the work, ask to get the terms in writing, including the scope of the job, quantity of materials and the final price
  • To be safe, say no to door-to-door solicitations and instead contact a reputable company, perhaps one that a friend or neighbor recommends

The division also advises those being harassed by scammers to call 911.

If you have a news tip in Forsyth County, contact Justine Lookenott at justine.lookenott@newsbreak.com.

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I cover local news in Forsyth County, GA. My debut into the writing world began at the age of 10 when I won an essay contest in Around Acworth Magazine in which I wrote about spending the summer with my pet goat, Eclair. Since graduating from Kennesaw State University, I have been published in several newspapers and magazines in the Atlanta area including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta School Guide, What Now Atlanta, Newcomer Magazine, the Marietta Daily Journal and the Cherokee Tribune.

Forsyth County, GA
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