Beware that knock on the door

May 12, 2009 5:12:46 PM PDT
The bell rang at the Stanley house in Cary late Monday afternoon. Outside the front door stood what appeared to be a teenager with a story and a sell. "He told me he was going to France with his lacrosse team and that two of the parents could not support two of the team members to go to France and the team had decided they were going to raise money to take their teammates to France," explained Bobbi Stanley.

The teen asked Stanley to buy some magazine subscriptions, and she agreed. But later, she began to wonder about the teen's story.

"He said, 'Well, I live in your neighborhood.' And I said, 'Oh really? Where do you live?' And he kinda stumbled and said, 'Well I live in another neighborhood across the street,'" Stanley recalled.

So Stanley got on the internet and Googled the name of the organization the teen claimed to represent: United Family Circulation. She said what she saw confirmed her fears.

There was story after story from people claiming the group had ripped them off. Eyewitness News went to Cary police to see if the claims were true.

"I couldn't find anything legitimate. I'm not saying they're not legitimate, but I couldn't find anything that said they were legitimate," offered Lt. Steve Fonke.

Police say the lesson of the story is if you don't know the youngster who's knocking at your door it is perfectly fine - even recommended - to ask the solicitor some questions. Ask why are they selling these things, what's the organization? Chances are, if their story's a little shaky, so is the organization they say they're working for.

Experts say there's a good chance you'll get your magazines eventually. It's just your money isn't going where you thought it was.

As for Stanley, she canceled her check Tuesday morning.

"It just doesn't make me happy," she said.

She hopes others will learn from her story.


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