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

Comments (5)
  1. happyday says:

    Don’t answer the door; just this week police said answer the door so burglars don’t breat in. Which is it? Personally, I don’t answer the door and I will never buy magazines from door-to-door people The only items I buy from door people is Girl Scout cookies and I haven’t purchased those in years because of the cost and the scant amount which goes to the troops! They are a scam too!

  2. happyday says:

    Meant to mention I am a senior but, not that stupid to give someone $100 cash and expect change back……..hokey story!

  3. smellykat says:

    These seem to hit alot in the spring and fall. Always some story and if you answer the door they won’t take no for an answer. I’ve seen them in store parking lots and called them out on be frauds they have a line for that too. I go back to the manager of the store and let them know and they call the police. Don’t ever fall for it.

  4. denvervet says:

    I grew up in a very lovely community in NJ. In the 60’s a woman knocked on our door. She was african american and I rarely saw african american people in our town. She was selling magazines. My mother invited her in and she and the woman had a nice talk about cooking and using cast iron frying pans.. My mother told me I could pick out a magazine and I got one which was devoted to horses. It sparked a life long love of the animal and I have had 5 in my lifetime. This was my first experience with a person of color and that has had a lifelong impact on me also. A good one. Gee, how things have changed from the 60’s!!!!!

  5. Robert Gift says:

    Dummy. Give them a $100 bill?
    If no exact currency and change, give them a check.
    Hope the criminals are caught. Will probably say they could not find the house.

    Girls sound like they would make good Christian evangelists!

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