KIMT NEWS 3- It can be a scary situation.
“I am a fairly good judge of people,” said Jan Mielke when asked if she would ever let just anyone in to her home.
While she said she wouldn’t fall victim, the Worth County Sheriff’s Office said people are going door to door pretending to be healthcare providers in order to gain access to prescription pain medication.
That is something Mielke said many in her town of Northwood would fall for.
“We have a lot of elderly people in town,” she said. “They think it would be OK because you just don’t expect it.”
But it isn’t just Worth County facing this issue. According to the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health and the Worth County Sheriff’s Office, there have been reports in both Cerro Gordo and Kossuth County. But there are ways to tell if the person at your front door is a real provider.
“Always know that we will call first and make an appointment with you and that you'll be expecting us. We'll have a name badge most of us wear smocks with our logo on the chest and we'll always have identification,” said Valerie Conklin, the Family and Community Health Service Manager for the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health.
Conklin said these people going door to door are professionals. She said they know the people who are receiving care from providers and that they are on prescription painkillers, but Mielke said she would call the county health before letting the person in.
“I would probably not let them in ... find some excuse to send them on their way and call the sheriff’s office,” she said.
Conklin said you should also recommend that you get a good description of the person’s car. That way if they aren’t a real provider you can give a description to local law enforcement.