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Kent Fire warns of possible scam, says they’re not affiliated with door-to-door solicitors

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KENT -- The Kent Fire Department is putting out a warning. They say they have nothing to do with the salespeople who are going door to door, trying to sell vent and duct cleaning services.

They’re now working with the police department to figure out if those solicitors are trying to scam homeowners.

Victoria Chaplin says she doesn’t trust any solicitors who come to her door uninvited.

“I’ve told my kids not to open the door, and I usually say we’re not interested without opening the door.”

But not everyone is that cautious, and that’s why the fire department is concerned. They’ve gotten calls from several homeowners in the Panther Lake neighborhood in the past week who said solicitors came to their doors, trying to sell fire safety services and products.

“They were either saying they’re employees or associated with us, and telling these homeowners that they need to clean or at least inspect the vents in the homes to prevent a fire,” says Kent Fire Capt. Kyle Ohashi.

One homeowner says the two men who came to her home were wearing black shirts and hats with what looked like a fire department logo. But Ohashi says the department makes a point of not endorsing any private companies.

“We have no association with these people. When they go to a door and try to use our name, or imply our name, they’re playing on the fears of these people.”

They’re now working with the police department to find out exactly who these salesmen may be and why they’re trying to get into people’s homes.

“That’s where we at now, to find out is this a legitimate company that we need to talk to about their sales practices or if it is something much more serious.”

There are cases where solicitors have tried to scam homeowners out of money. There have also been cases where break-ins happened in neighborhoods after solicitors went through. That’s why Chaplin says she doesn’t take any chances.

“People should have to show they’re interested in a company for that company to ever come to their home,” she says. “I think we all have to be cautious in this day and age.”

You can call the Kent Fire Department RFA if you are concerned about a suspicious contact or have questions concerning whether someone works for them. You can reach them at 206-450-8400.

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