LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Some Lee County residents fear they fell for the latest hoax hitting neighborhoods. They say door-to-door salesmen pressured them into buying pricey magazine packages. Crime Prevention officials say the subscriptions will more than likely never make it to their mailbox.
Lee County Sheriff's Office says ever since the economy turned sour, they've seen a spike in the number of complaints about phony salespeople targeting entire neighborhoods at a time.
With a knock on the door, Cathy Barnett fears she invited a scam artist into her own living room. She says she was pressured into buying a pricey magazine subscription from a man carrying only a single pamphlet for his pitch.
"He wanted cash. He said he got more points if it was cash. I told him I didn't have the cash but that I'd give him a little bit of cash and then write the rest out in check," Barnett said.
She fears she'll never see her subscription or money again. Part of the pitch was that a portion of the purchase would go to charity. Some say they didn't fall for it.
"It was a $45, a $90, and then $120....and it just went on and on from there. I was just like, it just seems like too much money to me for a magazine anyway," Buckingham Air Park resident Greg Neuville said.
Lee County Sheriff's Office says if someone knocks on your door, buyers better beware.
"Last year, we even had some people changing the dollar figures. Your check may have been for $42 worth of magazines, and all the sudden your check cleared for $142," said Stacey Payne of Lee County's Sheriff's Office Crime Prevention Unit.
They recommend ignoring solicitors if you aren't interested and asking to see their business license. But most of all, be weary of requests for cash.
"I should have recognized that. but I was busy, and I didn't. I just thought, OK, help this kid out," Barnett said.
There are some things you can do if you think you've fallen for a hoax. LCSO recommends watching your bank account to ensure your check clears for the amount you wrote it out for, or better yet, cancel the check altogether.