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Downtown New Haven, Indiana

Thursday, September 21, 2017

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Parents have shown concern about some salespeople going door-to-door trying to sell them children’s books.

NewsChannel 15 found out the company behind the salespeople is Southwestern Advantage. Trey Campbell, Director of Communications for the company, said Southwestern Advantages hires 2200 national and international college students to sell children’s books door-to-door.

The Smiths had an encounter with a salesman earlier this week.

“My sister was here, had recognized who he was, and told me not to answer the door because there was something strange and shady about him and he was selling books,” said Renee Smith.

The salesman left after knocking for more than a minute, said Smith. She said he went around the neighborhood and came back around and saw her husband in the garage.

“He started asking me questions about do we have children, I have books to sell, He had a black bag,” said Jearld Smith. “He did have a thick book he was trying to flip through.”

The Smiths said the salesman’s aggressive tactics was very concerning.

“He wanted us to let him in and wanted us to give him money for books and sell things. He was so vague, and gave almost no information on him,” said Renee Smith.

Campbell said all salespeople should have a doubled-sided ID badge with the company’s name and website and the salesperson’s photo with name.

The tactics of the salespeople have started a rumor online saying individuals were looking for children for sex trafficking.

“The social media rumors going around on Facebook that are being shared regarding child abduction and human trafficking are absolutely false,” said Campbell. “We have done our best to put it to rest.”

According to the myth-busting website, snopes.com, those rumors are false.

Campbell said if salespeople are not identifying themselves or being too aggressive in their pitch, contact Southwestern Advantage at (615) 391-2500.

POSTED: 08/30/13 at 7:19 am. FILED UNDER: News