Door-to-Door Schemers Prey on Holiday Generosity

Door-to-door schemers look to sell you a story

By Mola Lenghi
|  Thursday, Dec 22, 2011  |  Updated 7:18 PM CDT
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Citizens should be on high-alert for door-to-door schemes this holiday season.

Mola Lenghi, Arlington Journalist

Citizens should be on high-alert for door-to-door schemes this holiday season.

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Door-to-door schemers come in different ages, selling different products, or claiming to raise money for different causes. But it always begins the same way...with a knock.

“In my case it was a woman in her late 20’s who was very polished, very articulate, very slick and reportedly was trying to raise money so she could stay in school,” recalled Greg McNeese, an investigator with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office.

McNeese recently had a person posing as a solicitor come to his home, selling magazine subscriptions in an effort, as she phrased it, “to try and raise money for school tuition.”

After asking a few questions, McNeese says he was able to poke holes in the schemer’s story. The stories are often emotional ones – requesting money for school, or a camp, or an illness, or a military family.

“I think some of these people are so well trained that's it’s difficult to determine whether these people are legitimate or not,” said McNeese.

Authorities advise when a stranger shows up asking for donations, ask questions about the cause they’re raising money for, a solicitation permit and for ID.

“Don't feel pressured by their slick sales technique, don't feel pressured by the fact that they claim to be doing good or stay in school,” he said.

Whether you choose to donate or deny, authorities say always have a healthy suspicion.

McNeese said, “It may be for legitimate business and there may be something you can get for your money, but unless you know who they are you don't know for sure, so it's a good idea to be careful.”

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