Local News

Wake Residents on Alert for Possible Magazine Scam

Posted April 26, 2007

— At first, Wake County resident Jackie Craig didn't think anything of it when two young people came to her door and identified themselves as Florida college students trying to raise money for a trip to Italy.

"I wouldn't even usually open a door for a stranger mid-day, but they kind of looked like they could be neighbors," she said. "They looked like they fit in pretty well, but I wasn't really suspicious at first."

But that soon changed when Craig said they asked for a glass of water.

"This is not a time of the year when colleges take a break, so that was a red flag to me. They were very flattering, paying compliments," she said. "I started to get suspicious."

Craig said she looked around, didn't see a car, and then they asked her if there were other neighbors home that she thought would want to buy some magazines.

Raleigh police say the so-called students are likely to be part of a larger team involved in a door-to-door magazine scheme and are warning the residents that if they are approached to keep their doors closed and not to give money.

"It was a fraud -- a flim-flam -- and it was money collected for which nothing was ever going to be received," Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said.

Police, last week, received a tip from law enforcement authorities in Kentucky about the scheme, and authorities have received several reports similar to Craig's.

Although there have been no reports of anyone trying to enter residences, police are concerned that the sellers might be trying to case houses or harm someone.

'There are very few legitimate door-to-door solicitations these days," Sughrue said.

Eric Dixon said that when he was in his 20s, he worked for a company similar to the ones police are warning the public. He said, he was sent to Virginia, drove to neighborhoods and told to lie to make a sale. He was encouraged to get cash for any sales so that the transaction could not be traced.

"It's a scam to the customers who think they're buying magazines," Dixon said. "And it's a scam to the people who are trying to do the sales who think they legitimately have a job when they don't."

After about a month, Dixon said he quit, gave back the money to victims. He said he never got paid for his work.

"Each day, the lies became stronger and stronger and stronger, and I had a real bad complex about it," he said.

Anyone who is concerned about the scheme or approached should call local law enforcement immediately to investigate.


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  • jy2 Apr 27, 2007


    That was the same girl who came to my house as well, pink tank and jean capris, very blonde hair. She was really nice and she probably was working for some out of state get rich quick scheme company. These companies should be illegal! I am sure she in particular was not a threat but I guess we need to be on the lookout for the real criminals who are posing as the so called magazine sellers!

  • Pocket Change Apr 27, 2007

    I live in Cary and have not encountered this. Maybe it's because my Crown Vic is parked in the driveway...

  • boblucas Apr 27, 2007

    In Raleigh, I have seen them pile out/pile in a large windowless van with Conneticut or Michigan tags. They ring the bell at my townhome at Hunters Creek. I asked if they saw the "No Soliciting " sign. They say they aren't soliciting??? Then they start the sale rap saying they are doing it for college. I ask which school? They say North Carolina College? It's sad but sort of funny but It's all a game. You uncover/discover such if you just ask questions. Finally, they tell you, they won't have a hotel room that night if they don't make a sale, sniff, sniff. When I send them on their way sometimes I call RPD and sometimes they go next door to NC State students who sometimes encourage them by feeding them( giving them a sale). This has gone on and off for 9 years. I have to say sometimes they look like refugees but they are usually WASP.

  • SomeRandomGuy Apr 27, 2007

    BIG YAWN-my son is in Scouts and I thank you for supporting your community.
    Love that camera idea I GOTTA try that one!
    and NC_VET-love that conversions idea too; which religion are you trying to convert them to?

  • Phenylalanine Apr 27, 2007

    I always tello them that my time is important and I require $10 from them for my time to listen to them. If they don't pay me, then I don't buy anything and do not feel bad for closing the door on them. If they do, then I still don't buy anything and have money for dinner that night.

  • refiman Apr 26, 2007

    From the posts I have been reading here, you would think these guys had killed or raped someone. All the talk is how scared you all are. They are just trying to rip you off for a few bucks. Good God, you all sound like a bunch of scared little girls. What have they done to anyone, besides scam a few bucks. People questioning weather or not they should call the police, because someone was selling magazines. Wake up, send them on their way. I personally invite them for a game of baseball. I bring the bat, they pretend to be the ball. Issue over, nothing to cowar about. Show them who's boss, they stop coming around after a few innings.

  • billengr99 Apr 26, 2007

    Sooo how are all these college students out selling magazines when colleges, especially in the Northeast and Midwest are all still in session. Even here in North Carolina the schools are still in session and just starting their final exam periods.

  • NC_VET Apr 26, 2007

    I try to convert them to a new religion and most of them leave
    before I can get to the part of taking up the serpent.

  • desi1 Apr 26, 2007

    It happened to me today in Morrisville, A white girl telling me that her parents live just across the road and she needed last 2000 points to make up 20000 to go to Cambridge and if she gets some thing more I can hop on the plane with her etc.. I told her that I heard the scam on TV, she told that her mom called and her company is with Better Business Beauro (BBB) and its legit. In the meantime she found a way to get in house as my wife was almost ready to buy. She claimed to be in UNC as well. I did show the same news on WRAL.com and she was amazed.. I later denied but she was already in my house.

    be careful..

  • BIG YAWN Apr 26, 2007

    Keep a camera next to the front door. Take a picture of them as you open it. Ask them if they are going to Paris or Italy? See what their reaction is.