Police Warn of Fake Door-to-Door Salesmen

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Every now and then, Mark Wilson will hear the sound of knocking at his door in South Hills.

When he answers, the person on the other side is a salesman.

"You hear their pitch, often times it's for a good cause; you want to help them out," Wilson said.

With many college students selling in the summer, Wilson wants to assume the best.

"You like to give them the benefit of the doubt," he said.

However, warnings like the one police gave Friday make him leery.

Charleston Police say they've received reports that Osborne Jackson, along with several others, have been going door-to-door selling magazines.

"There seems to be one person who seems to be in charge and he'll drop off the various sales people and they'll canvas the neighborhood," said Wayne Tribble, who lives in South Hills.

After the sales are finalized, sometimes for more than $100, those magazines never come.

What's worse, the group pretends to be helping a charity -- in some cases, the Wounded Warrior Foundation.

So far, police believe they've ripped off at least 20 people.

"It's sad that they use anything anymore to take advantage of people," said Nancy Garnes, who also lives in South Hills.

Garnes says these scams hit her neighborhood often.

"A lot of houses, a lot of people in the area," said Garnes, "and they can hit one part and go to the other part and we're not aware."

Now, she and her neighbors watch out for each other, sharing stories of passersby.

They hope to save each other a few bucks and avoid becoming victims.

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