Metro Detroiters warned about door-to-door scammers

Better Business Bureau warns homeowners

By Hank Winchester - Reporter

Metro Detroiters are being warned about door-to-door scammers, who are now more active with the arrival of warm weather.

The Local 4 Defenders have learned a group of scammers have been operating in door-to-door operations in Royal Oak, Birmingham and Beverly Hills.

This group is called "Self Starters" and it recruits young inner-city residents, who solicit suburban homeowners, asking them to sign up to sponsor young people in need and serve as a mentor.

The door to door operators ask homeowners for their phone numbers, email contacts and other information.  They say the information will be used to develop a network of mentors.

But the Defenders learned this information ends up in the hands of telemarketers, and one that information is sold to a telemarketing company,, it is almost impossible for the consumer to get their name off that master list.

The Better Business Bureau's Melanie Duquesnel says homeowners should ask themselves some quick question when someone comes unannounced to their door.

"If anybody is coming and soliciting at your door, the first question is why, but privately every before you open the door to discovery that, are you feeling safe," Duquesnel said.

She adds that homeowners need to know that solicitors must also operate within the law.

"When anybody goes door to door asking you to buy something or donate something, they must have a license," Duquesnel said.

The "Self Starters" group was active a few years ago in Monroe County and is now making  move in Oakland County.

The group does not reportedly have required local soliciting permits.

If homeowners feel they are being harassed, they should call police.

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