Thursday, November 14, 2013

After dark door-to-door fundraising?

It happened again.

Well after dark, two people showed up at our door, selling something or another (in this case coupons) to promote something wonderful (in this case tuition for a four-year college).

I had never heard of the organization that they said that they represented.

I told them that I wasn't interested.

Now I have given to door-to-door people in the past. When Howard Snider (former mayor of Ontario) sold Kiwanis tickets, I bought them. When the kid that I knew from down the street stopped by, I bought from him. If I actually recognize the institution, and if the person is appropriately dressed to represent that institution (Snider always wore official Kiwanis insignia), I may give.

But otherwise, I don't. And with good reason, since the door-to-door fundraisers - especially the ones that show up after dark - are probably fake:

We've all experienced those door-to-door fundraisers. Elementary school kids sell candy, wrapping paper, or magazine subscriptions. Shadier, pushier teens and adults sell candy bars for $5 apiece to supposedly raise money for leadership training, summer camp, and what have you. Not surprisingly, these aren't always legitimate. While you shouldn't necessarily call the cops on your neighbor's 4th grader, exercise caution. If you're suspicious, it's probably for good reason.

As of May 2011 "students" going door-to-door are asking for money for music programs. An article in The Enterprise reports that UC Davis and Sacramento State are warning people that no university-affiliated music program is doing anything of the sort. Chances are the con artists will be happy to switch their story up, so just because they're not claiming to be collecting for a music program doesn't mean you should let your guard down.

And it's not just in Davis.

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