Door-to-door alerts: ‘Hit by car’; magazine sales

Two door-to-door alerts tonight – the first one has come in both via e-mail and via Twitter, and the other one via Facebook – read on:

The door-to-door alert that we’ve received twice came in first from Patrick:

I live near Westwood Village and had a person, white male, shaggy-looking, dirty blonde hair, claiming to be a neighbor, saying that a neighbor’s kid was hit by a car was collecting donations of ten dollars for a stuffed animal so they could provide things for the child. I know most of my neighbors and this person wasn’t someone I recognized as a neighbor; there was a woman as well knocking on my neighbor’s door at the same time.

A shorter version of the same thing was tweeted by @jamesmahler – “Just had a man and woman at the front door selling stuffed toys to raise money for an alleged hit and run victim. $10.”

The second alert is from a FB “friend” who didn’t want to be identified. Her message:

The “help youth get a fresh start and improve my personal skills” magazine sales kids are working the neighborhood between Admiral and California today. They are nice young people, but upon reading about the magazine sales programs they work for it sounds like indentured servitude. I’m not sure if this group is legitimate, or even if there are legitimate ones.

Included with that report was this Better Business Bureau link, which mentions a Seattle-based operation.

12 Replies to "Door-to-door alerts: 'Hit by car'; magazine sales"

  • Concerned August 3, 2010 (7:30 am)

    … the shaggy blonde guy with stuffed animals and a blonde lady were in my neighborhood (Morgan-Othello) collecting money for a little boy hit by a car …. it was kind of late 8:30 ish … I thought twice but gave them $5. … after I though to myself … it’s probably not true … but maybe it is!!??

  • Cordelia Anne August 3, 2010 (8:09 am)

    There is a legitimate Women’s Health study going on at the School of Public Health at the University of Washington, and the canvassers have been recruiting women for the study in West Seattle neighborhoods. When a stranger approaches your door, always ask for company I.D., and always be suspicious if they’re asking for money for any reason, especially if they want it in advance. If they put any pressure on you, politely ask them to leave and shut the door. It is your property that that they’re standing on. “Put on your thinking cap!”, my Mom used to say to me, and that’s great advice in this day and age as well.

  • Kari August 3, 2010 (8:52 am)

    Stuffed animal man hit me last night. I’m still kicking myself for giving him $10 (didn’t have a $5). Figured times are tough for everyone so spread a little Karma, but I feel dumb.
    Also made sure to lock and close all curtians before I went to work- maybe they are casing the neighborhood.

  • JP August 3, 2010 (8:57 am)

    I also live in the Westwood area and the two people with stuffed animals came to our door as well. The guy seemed very freaked out by my barking dogs. I asked him where the “little boy” lived and they said “up on 28th” but couldn’t provide any additional info, so I told him I didn’t have any cash. He said flyers would eventually be posted in the area, too, so I guess we’ll see if they show….

  • Patrick August 3, 2010 (9:18 am)

    What bothered me the most about it, is when I looked through my peep hole, the man shouts out “I’m your Neighbor” if they were in the Morgan Junction area as well, seems to me they are just looking for money??

  • Dale August 3, 2010 (9:25 am)

    Got a call late last week saying they were selling advertisement for Chief Sealth sports programs. One lady transferred me to another and finally to another on the phone. Prices ranged from $875-$175 for 1/16th of a page. I hesitated then they dropped the price to only $75 which was very tempting. They could sense the same and asked for credit card, info–advised I don’t give that out over the phone but they could send the info to me for review and they said they couldn’t do that. Really! Also, there phone came up on my caller ID as an unlisted number. How legite is this? Anyone else with this solicitation?

    • WSB August 3, 2010 (9:34 am)

      Dale – I will ask the Sealth athletic director about that one … TR

  • HolyKow August 3, 2010 (9:53 am)

    2 more yesterday…2 young (high school age) black females that just kinda stood there for a sec, one covered their face and walked off, the other just kinda looked at me for a second before I advised we do not take door to door solicitation and ended the interaction.

    Harmless, maybe,
    Silly, certainly,
    Useless, DEFINITELY!

    There is no use for this. I maintain that there oughta be a law banning door to door sales and info pitches.


  • Sam Reed August 3, 2010 (10:04 am)


    Your concern is a valid one, but I will tell you that there are two organizations that may be soliciting local businesses in such a fashion. Media All Stars has been contracted to produce a program for our Winter Sports teams. It’s a traditional agreement in which the Athletic Department gets a portion of the proceeds and in turn Media All Stars (based nationally out of San Diego, I believe) produces a full-color program for our distribution. The second national organization is All-American Sports Posters which prints our seasonal sports posters. Once again, they sell the ads and in turn we get free posters for distribution and a portion of the proceeds. It is very likely that one of the two organizations contacted you. However, I will pass along the concerns about legitimacy to both of them and ask that they be more clear in identifying themselves on future calls. If you have any other concerns, please feel free to contact myself through my Chief Sealth e-mail address.

    Thank you for your support of Chief Sealth Athletics!
    -Sam Reed, Athletic Director / Activity Coordinator
    Chief Sealth International High School

  • Jim P. August 3, 2010 (12:04 pm)

    Hit my place near Westwood Village on Saturday evening.

    Rang bell then about 30 seconds later pounded on front door.

    Two or three people working our group of townhomes…with a huge armload of stuff animals the spiel about an uninsured driver hurting a little kid.

    I rarely give money to random strangers at my front door and certainly not to people who start banging on my door like they are trying to alert me to a raging fire.

    I figure if they had all that money to buy those large piles of stuffed animals they were carting around, they could have given that to the girl’s family.

    Had someone the other day also, purporting to be selling candy or something for a school or the like. I just don’t bother any more, too many frauds and not enough time to want to check each one out.

    I may buy Girl Scout cookies if they come by as that sort of thing is harder to fake. But even then I usually buy from someone at work whose daughter is selling.

    I’ve never seen so many door to door types up here. Where I used to live in Calofrnia, we almost never got this stuff.

  • DKunnap August 6, 2010 (7:01 pm)

    Ok,The shaggy guy and blonde lady are now in the Delridge neighborhood, between Juneau and Brandon on 25th. They were parked at my neighbors house and the man moved his brownish SUV as I pulled up ( I had just made a Costco run) and the women walked down my block with an arm full of stuffed animal!!! I asked my 19 year old son if they had came by. He said yes he had answered the door and was told they were selling stuffed animals for a little boy who had been hit by a car in the neighborhood, as stated in the previous blogs. He told them to come back later, we will see if they show!?! I had remembered reading this on WSB a few days ago, but it took me awhile to find the post. Keep your eyes out for these two and your wallets closed. Sounds like a scam to me!!

    • WSB August 6, 2010 (7:03 pm)

      DK – If you are ever looking for a door-to-door alert again, the topic has its own “category” in our list of categories, which is at the bottom of the sidebar. Any time you click it, you’ll see the newest post tagged “door to door alert” at the top, and older ones in reverse chronological order. I am going to repost this at the top since it’s a few days old and few will see it otherwise … TR

Sorry, comment time is over.