False charities knocking at my door bearing overpriced cleaning products...
January 28, 2010 10:24am CST
We are often visited by a (supposed) charity called The Organisation For Homeless & Unemployed People. They come to the door in the evening after it's got dark, and they knock on the door and ring on the doorbell - making me think that they're either a relative (giving a friendly kind of novelty knock-knock-ring), or that it's something urgent, (seeing as they felt the need to both knock and ring!) So my husband or I rush to the door. Only to find a young stranger with a box of jay cloths and dusters... The young person is usually male, polite and nicely spoken and he tells us that he's with "The Organisation for Homeless and Unemployed People", and that he sells cleaning products door to door in order to provide himself with somewhere to live. Usually they call just when we're putting our daughter to bed, so we tell them that it's an inconvenient time and they go away. But recently they came slightly earlier and caught me unawares. A young lady this time. She looked as if she was in her early twenties, was very pretty and innocent looking and friendly. Again, nicely spoken, she thanked me for opening the door and apologised profusely for bothering me, and then she did the usual spiel. Being a soft touch I didn't want to turn her away, so I let her show me all the products in her box. Feeling a bit sorry for her as she seemed very apologetic about everything, and also because she looked so cold in her thin grey tracksuit with no coat on top, I said I'd buy some jay cloths and some dusters. "The cloths are £3.99 and the dusters are £6.99" she replied. Flabbergasted, I asked her if she had anything cheaper, and I said I'd have a couple of things (which were still an obvious rip-off!!) She was very grateful and went off happily into the night. The cloths came labelled with the name of the organisation and its address, so I decided to google them. Turns out the postcode doesn't exist, and there are pages of stuff about how it's not really a charity (it doesn't have a charity registration number, as they're all supposed to), and it's thought to be a bit scam. Well, I felt a bit silly and a bit ripped-off. Have you ever come across these people? Have you bought anything from them? If you were me what would you do next? I'm tempted to just not open the door to people we don't know (I know that this would probably be the sensible thing to do!) We do have a spyhole and usually use it, but are sometimes lazy with our spyhole. Would you confront them with your googled information? According to the information I found, some of the guys get angry and abusive if you don't buy anything from them, so perhaps confronting them might not be the best idea, and I wouldn't actually do it. But I do kind of want to know more about them, who runs the thing, what kind of organisation it is, who the young people really are and if they even realise that it's a scam. They probably do, but they just seem so innocent and genuine. Lol, I know I'm naive - they're probably actors!! Well I'd like to know about other people's experiences and what you think. (And especially if you know more about them, I'm a bit intrigued...)
28 Jan 10
I haven't come across that organisation but we have had young people selling the same stuff visit in the evening purporting to be ex-offenders on a rehabilitation scheme from either Derbyshire or Middlesbrough. Neither places young offender teams have ever heard of this scheme and neither have the Police. Next time they come I intend to have a very close look at their "ID card" and see just who sends them. Perhaps it's the same scam.
28 Jan 10
Yes, it could well be the same one. I'm sure that lots of other people must fall for it just like I did. Not everyone checks these things before buying, but I'll know for next time. Yes, I wonder what you'll find out from the id card.. Just noticed how long my discussion post is! Got a bit carried away on this subject, lol!