Rumors Fuel Parents Concerns Over Door to Door Booksellers

DECATUR-A post on Facebook has many local parents worried. It suggests booksellers going door to door in the area may be part of a sex trafficking ring and are looking for children.

But there's no truth to this online rumor.

He got a knock on the door he didn't expect from a woman claiming to sell educational books.

Brad McLaughlin says the saleswoman asked a question that made him nervous.

"(She) Just acted like she was stalking the place asking if they were here during the day by themselves," McLaughlin says.

He says she was pushy and didn't give her credentials.

"She asked what their names were, and then I questioned her, saying why do you need to know their names," McLaughlin says.

And it sounded similar to a rumor spreading on Facebook. The post describes door to door booksellers who may be part of a sex trafficking ring, trying to lure your children into it.

Macon County Sheriff Tom Schneider says they've had calls from worried parents.

"We don't have any indication that these are a ring of individuals coming out to try to prey on our children," Schneider says.

After investigating they found out the saleswoman works for a company called Southwestern Advantage.

"She was out there for legitimate purposes," Schneider says.

She was selling books but still, McLaughlin disagrees with the method.

"If they had just been more straight forward when they come to the door, I wouldn't have had a problem with it," McLaughlin says.

Southwestern Advantage has been around for more than 100 years starting up in 1868 in Nashville, Tennessee. Each year over 2-thousand college students participate to help offset their school fees and help families with their education needs.