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Scam or Legit?
updated: Jan 23, 2013, 8:59 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

There's a gentleman soliciting money for uniforms for the "youth program." Accepting cash or checks. Is this legit?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 366785P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 09:06 PM

Where is he doing the soliciting and what kind of identification is he offering? More information would be useful.


 COMMENT 366790P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 09:53 PM

Skip it and control your donations on your own time with no pressure.


 COMMENT 366794P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 10:16 PM

Kinda would help if you told us more. Where, when and who is what helps. Checks made out to who? And did you open your door to a stranger? There is a tactic where the bad guy just asks to use your bathroom or distracts you, and you get ripped off. Be wary.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 10:36 PM

I had my glasses off I thought you wrote unicorns...


 SHOREBIRD agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 10:38 PM

If you don't know the gentleman it's not legit.


 FIRST DISTRICT agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 01:03 AM

Was the guy's name Professor Harold Hill?


 COMMENT 366812 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 06:09 AM

Sounds fishy. Uniforms for Youth Programmes? Brings to mind Germany 1932.


 COMMENT 366818 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 06:46 AM

Why refer to all males as "gentleman"?

He is a man, and does not seem so far to have distinguished himself as particularly gentlemanly. "There is a man soliciting money..."


 COMMENT 366819P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 06:58 AM

Ribbit, that was my first thought--I don't get it when people refer to men as "gentlemen" or women as "ladies" unless the person really is a lady or gentleman. And, if a local school or music program wants donations, the usual route would be notices sent home from the school, or a notice in the paper or an ad in Edhat. Door to door solicitations are suspect these days.


 COMMENT 366820 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 06:59 AM

Op, what kind of uniforms was he raising money for? I remember when i was younger my dad and I would go door to door trying to raise money for my YFL uniform. Kind of makes me sad to think when my son comes of age people these days won't even open doors to hear me out and will probably post something similar on edhat.


 COMMENT 366826 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 07:11 AM

They used to sell candy at $5 a pop and say they were doing it for drug awareness programs. I think they were really using it for self-enrichment programs. Plus it is usually older kids that don't live in the neighborhood, sometimes they bring them in from Oxnard to make money in SB.

When people show up I usually give them a couple of bucks to reward their initiative for doing a job but I never buy their products or contribute to those causes. I figure at least they can get a drink or something to eat.


 COMMENT 366849 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 07:59 AM

My dog is learning to be a perfect gentleman!


 COMMENT 366887 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 08:45 AM

When we use the word "gentleman", we are hoping you will live up to the name. Mostly we are disappointed. Reminds me of that quote, better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.


 COMMENT 366904 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:14 AM

This gentleman came to our house too. He was a 60-ish African American, bald, eloquent and cheerful. He had a box of candy and stated the name of his organization, gave a website and said he was trying to raise money for uniforms. I politely turned him away because I can't imagine this is the best way to raise funds for a cause given all the scams that have taken place by people doing the exact same thing. Where's the accountability?


 COMMENT 366906 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:19 AM

Shorebird: So all people collecting for charities are scammers unless you know them? And if you do know them, that means they're NOT scammers? I don't follow your logic.


 COMMENT 366909 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:27 AM

Heehee... I love the brouhaha over the use of the word "gentleman". Are we that far from civility and good manners that when confronted by them we have to ridicule them?

OP.... a solicitor coming to your door after dark has to be viewed with suspicion, IMO. Coming to your door after dark looking for money has to be viewed with even greater suspicion. Senior citizens are often the most targeted for these schemes.


 COMMENT 366913 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:33 AM

Gentlemen don't come to your house, ring your doorbell, and ask you, as a total stranger, for a donation to their cause.


 COMMENT 366923 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:48 AM

I think the only thing I'd go for with door-to-door solicitations would be girls scouts selling cookies (TIS THE SEASON PEOPLE! Woo hoo!). Pretty much because you make out checks to the troop #, they girls are usually in uniform, and they carry the cookie sheet to get everyone's info. Alas, they aren't supposed to go door-to-door anymore, and we weren't supposed to as kids either (15 years ago - at least not without an adult). I don't see people being able to fake GS cookie selling too easily. Also, I tend to be ok with kids soliciting, but not adults (adults chaperoning kids, is obviously fine, and preferred). Once the kids get over a certain age, I start to wonder if they are casing the houses, exactly what I think about adults who do door-to-door. Can't trust people you don't know these days.


 COMMENT 366944P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 10:09 AM

Unless the person knocking on my door is a 12 year old girl selling girl scout cookies, I *never* open the door to strangers.


 EDSUP agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 10:22 AM

When a solicitor comes to my door, I ask for information about the "charity" to which the money is destined. I tell them I always research prior to donating. They usually depart quickly, leaving no info behind. Legitimate ones leave info. If I feel confident after researching, I mail my contribution.


 COMMENT 366971 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 10:59 AM

A couple of older gentlemen knocked on my door. I said, "who is it?" One of them said, "you don't know me". Wrong answer.


 SHOREBIRD agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 11:00 AM

In this day and age solicitation by strangers are your door are only done by shady characters.


 COMMENT 366984 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 11:20 AM

If I'm not expecting anyone, I don't get up to answer the door.


 COMMENT 367003 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 11:49 AM

924: what does his being black have to do with anything?


 COMMENT 367012P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 12:16 PM

003: I think it's related to the "gentleman" part of the comments here. This is how some people dance around the topic of race; it would have been perfectly fine for the OP to write " a black (or African-American) man, approximately 60 years of age," which is relevant when providing descriptive information. For some, this "sounds" funny/disapproving, or even racist. Hence, this man becomes a "gentleman" to soften the perceived problem. Maybe more "psycho-linguistics" than you wish to consider, but an interesting topic, I think.


 COMMENT 367021P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 12:23 PM

OP here, sorry I didn't provide more information. My boyfriend thought I was being paranoid. For your donation you receive a tax receipt and candy. I asked what the program was, "Youth Program" and when I asked for a card he said he ran out as he'd been out since noon. He knocked on my door around 7:30 and upon further listening it appeared he was knocking only on end units. I don't have money as is so I didn't give him anything.

Out of curiosity... how do you let someone know you will not open your door after asking who it is? I'm not interested in solicitations as is and my apartment unit has a rule about not allowing them.


 COMMENT 367024P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 12:29 PM

Had a chance to read the comments. The "gentleman" I referred to was NOT 60. He was in his 20's or 30's. I don't think race matters and he wasn't rude, which is why I used this term. I didn't get a website and googling anything "Youth Program Goleta or Isla Vista" pulls up no results. He would have accepted a check or cash.

820: I have had a parent and child come to my door to do fundraising for their school which the child was wearing attire for. I DO try to scrounge up a buck or two (don't carry cash) and give to those causes.

I offered to look in to it when I got paid and to "drop by" to see how I could help. He was polite and left after. But again, I noticed he was knocking on selected units in my complex (young adults/students) that I believe were only end units.


 AUNTIE S. agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 12:39 PM

I agree about "entleman" - it's especially grating when I hear a policeman being interviewed describing a criminal.


 COMMENT 367045 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 01:18 PM

I advise you (that is, the OP specifically) to assume that no such solicitations are legitimate, until or unless you become experienced enough with such issues that you recognize the sort of information that is needed (but which you did not provide) to distinguish legitimate from non-legitimate. Even then it's probably best to treat solicitors like mushrooms -- even the experts sometimes mistakenly eat the poison ones.


 COMMENT 367253 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 07:59 AM

Last week, during the day a 15 year old girl knocked on my door. I didn't open the door. Through the peep hole I saw she wasn't carrying anything. No clip board, cards etc. Asked what she wanted. She said she was from Indiana and was raising money for a program to help get over her fear of public speaking. She said that she earns points from finding out what people do for their careers. She asked me if I own my own business and if it was out of my home, what my husband does for a living etc. She said if I donate money, it would get a subscription to a magazine, but "since people don't like mags anymore, you could buy them and have them donated to veterans or seniors". I called the police and as soon as I mentioned magazines, dispatcher immediately asked me where she was, where I was calling from, and there was an officer in sight in about 3 minutes. I don't know if she was detained etc. because she had moved down the street out of my sight. Scammers!


 COMMENT 367258 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 08:16 AM

Paranoia big destroya...

Lot's of scared people in this town... that's for sure.

Come on now people. Just tell them to scatter off... hiding behind your door and calling police over this stuff? pffff


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