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Solicitors targeting Tampa neighborhoods with fake magazine sales

Donations may not help local charities
Posted at 5:27 PM, Nov 22, 2016

Right now, charities are warning you to beware if anyone comes to your door asking for donations this holiday season.

The Ronald McDonald House said people are soliciting money on their behalf, that’s not really going to their charity at all.

Reports have been in the Davis Islands and Beach Park neighborhoods.

“How do you discern who is being honest and dishonest when all you’re trying to do is help somebody?” Jennifer Krause asked.

Krause said a man came to her door Friday, selling magazine subscriptions to put himself through trade school.

“I just said, I’d love to help you but I really don’t have a need for any magazines, and that’s when he told me that if I got a subscription I could donate it to the Ronald McDonald House,” Krause said.

That got her to hand over a check for $110. She said the man had a list with the names of about 20 other neighbors who did the same.

“At the time it made complete sense to me and I thought I was actually helping them out,” Krause said.

Neighbors are sharing reports online through apps like Next-door.

The Ronald McDonald House charity said they’ll never come to your door or call you asking for donations. If anyone tries to do that, they suggest asking two questions.

“Are you a paid solicitor and wait for their response, secondly, what percentage of your dollar is going to the program?” Alison Barrick, marketing and communications manager with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay, said.

They said 87 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to families. Krause said she was trying to help the charity and the man who approached her at the same time.

“I was just really trying to help somebody, so it did feel awkward that all of a sudden he left and I felt scammed I should know better than that, and I didn’t, I was just trying to do the right thing….”

If you want to help the Ronald McDonald House Charity of Tampa Bay, visit www.rmhctampabay.org or givetofamilies.org.