, Salem, MA

October 2, 2013

Police: Aggressive salesman targets Salem library patrons

By Neil H. Dempsey
Staff Writer

---- — SALEM — Police say they received multiple complaints this week that an aggressive life-insurance salesman had targeted patrons of the Salem Public Library — in one case going to a woman’s house on Sunday night uninvited and then phoning her nine times the next.

Police first received a report of the situation on Monday morning, when an employee of the library said she had fielded complaints regarding a man who had dropped off a box with sign-up sheets for “child-safe kits.”

“It is an offer for a child-safety kit, and it is administered by American Income Life Insurance Company,” police wrote in the log. “The cards relate a representative will deliver the kits.”

Both people who complained said that after telling the man they didn’t want to meet in person, he showed up at their residences anyway, apparently finding them via the addresses they provided on the sign-up sheets.

Yesterday morning, the same employee told an officer that she was afraid the man might return to the library and provided his business card, which said he was affiliated with Laura Fisher Agencies.

She related that there had been multiple complaints that the man had called the people who signed up for kits “numerous times” and showed up at their homes even after being told “they were not interesting in having a meeting” there.

The officer conducted an Internet search of child-safe kits and found numerous complaints that the kits were used as a “technique” to make a sales pitch for the American Income Life Insurance Company, according to the log.

Library director Nancy Tracy also met with the officer yesterday, saying she didn’t want the man to come back. The officer subsequently contacted the man, arranged to meet him at the library, returned the box to him and “advised he was no longer welcome there,” police wrote.

The man was also served a no-trespass order for the library.

The man “related that he only went to the homes to return the cards so the parties would [know] they were no longer in the system,” police wrote. “He was advised that if someone asks him to not come to their home or call them, he should respect their wishes.”

Later on, the officer fielded a phone call from a woman who said she was one of the patrons the man had targeted.

“She related that she originally agreed to meet with [the man], but then changed her mind,” wrote police, adding that he had “kept calling her” after she told him so.

The woman said the man contacted her 25 times in a week and “even came by her home on Sunday night,” wrote police. “Her husband told him to leave that day but ... he kept calling her repeatedly even after being told via phone and email that she was not interested.”

“She relates that last night he called nine times alone.”

The officer again contacted the man again, this time leaving a voice-mail message warning that “he could face harassment charges” if police received any additional complaints.

The officer contacted the office manager for Laura Fisher Agencies, too.

“She related that management had already had a meeting with [him] today and would follow up with the new information,” police wrote.