UPDATE 1/24/13 @ 11:20 p.m.
JACKSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Patty Fox doesn't usually open the door to strangers in her Ravenswood home, but a few days ago she made an exception - and wishes she hadn't.
"If you don't know who is on the other side of the door, don't answer it," she said.
Police say there is a new door-to-door scam hitting the Ravenswood area and possibly spreading. They say thieves are claiming to run a carpet cleaning service, sometimes offering to clean your rugs for free.
But they say it's all a ruse to get inside your home and rob you.
And they say another scam is also targeting elderly victims, this time over the phone. They say scammers will call and pretend to be a family member stuck in jail, and then ask for money.
"I was alarmed because there are a lot of elderly people that live in this neighborhood and don't have a spouse, and I was fearful for them," Fox said.
She says she could have been a victim to the carpet-cleaning hoax but felt something just wasn't right - so she didn't let the man into her home.
"He didn't have anything with him," she said. "No cards, no sweeper....nothing."
Police say if you've been a target of either scam, they want to hear from you.
The Ravenswood Police Department sent out a Nixle alert Thursday morning about the schemes.
According to the alert, the scams are being conducted by phone and door to door.
Ravenswood Police Chief Lance Morrison tells WSAZ.com the person who calls is targeting the elderly and pretending to be a family member. The person asks them to post his/her bond to get out of jail.
The chief says no one in Ravenswood, to his knowledge, has fallen victim. But, someone in Parkersburg was schemed out of $2,000 with this same type of call.
The police department is also dealing with another scheme where people are going door-to-door asking to come inside to clean their carpets for free. Once the person gets inside, another person robs the homeowner.
Chief Morrison says they've taken calls about people trying to get in, but no one has allowed them in their homes.
The chief says that's why he sent out the alert Thursday to help prevent someone from becoming a victim.
If you are contacted or someone comes to your door asking for money, you're urged to call the Ravenswood Police Department.
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