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Girls Scam Residents Using Claim Of Magazine Sales

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – What began with a knock on the door became a costly lesson for one homeowner.

A couple of young women told the gentleman they were in high school and selling magazines. They ended up taking off with his money.

Door-to-door magazine sales are No. 2 on the list of most filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau. One Denver neighborhood just got hit this week.

“They looked like sweet little high school girls. They were so slick,” Todd Gowen said.

The door-to-door magazine sales girls performed like theatrical professionals and Gowen was their audience.

“‘Your neighbor such and such, she’s a great lady and she says you’re a great guy,’ ” Gowen said.

They said they were selling magazines to raise money for their softball team.

“‘My father and he was in Afghanistan and he set us up through the Wounded Warriors Project,’ ” Gowen said. “And then she said, ‘Well do you have cash? We get a bonus, we get like a 500 point bonus if you have cash as opposed to a check.’ “

Gowen only had a $100 bill.

“‘So I can run home and be back in five minutes with your change, okay?’ ” Gowen said.

He never saw the change.

A few years ago CBS4 used a hidden camera and followed magazine sales people. They gave a CBS4 producer some practical advice.

“If you see a cop, it’s called … it’s called take off running.”

Jack Walford also met the sales girls.

“(They said) they lived on this street up a few blocks … I’ve never seen them before … I gave them $5 — they wanted more but that’s all i gave them,” Walford said.

Gowen got a receipt with the company’s name of Midwest Circulation. It has an “F” rating with the BBB.

“In my mind I’m 1,000 percent convinced that it was a scam and so I just hope it doesn’t happen to somebody else,” he said.

The best way to not get caught by the scam is to not answer the door.

If the girls are caught they face fraud charges.

RELATED: More Reports By 4 On Your Side Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks

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