A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods

 

Greenwood and Phinney business owners should be on lookout for possible book selling scam

July 14th, 2016 by Doree

Dr. Jason Hooyman from Hooyman Chiropractic at NW 85th Street and 3rd Avenue NW says a man came to his office on Wednesday, claiming to be selling books to donate to Seattle Children’s Hospital, and was fairly aggressive in his sales pitch, although he didn’t have any books with him.

The man said he was an Iraq war veteran and that he was blind in one eye. He was about 6 feet tall with brown hair, and slightly overweight. He was dressed in shorts and a polo shirt.

KOMO had a story on Wednesday about Queen Anne businesses that were approached by a man with a similar description and the same sales pitch. Those business owners believed it to be a scam.

Did anyone else encounter this man?

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Phinney Ridge neighbors warn about potential burglary scammer

February 12th, 2016 by Doree

Update: Apparently the man may have been an employee of ADT security. A worried neighbor called ADT and they confirmed they sent sales people to our neighborhood after hearing about our rash of burglaries.

Earlier: Several neighbors in Phinney Ridge say a suspicious man was wandering the neighborhood around North/NW 60th Street yesterday evening, knocking on doors and asking about homeowners’ alarm systems. The man told various people he was with ADT, Homestead Security or that he was selling fire insurance,  but he did not have any company identification. Some neighbors called 911.

In a long neighborhood email chain, one resident said the man knocked aggressively on their door for a long time. Others said the man seemed very intent on asking what neighbors did to protect themselves and whether they had alarms, and had a very vague sales pitch.

Did anyone else see this man?

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Reader warns of auto repair scam in Fred Meyer parking lot

December 9th, 2013 by Doree

Susan tells us she was approached as part of a scam in Greenwood Fred Meyer’s parking lot on Saturday.

This afternoon, I was approached in the parking lot at the Greenwood Fred Meyer by two young Hispanic men who offered to repair the dents in my old Toyota for $500. Their white pick-up truck had magnetic signs reading “Mobile Auto Body.” I’d already received an estimate of $1,000 for the same work from a reputable body shop on Greenwood Ave. The men insisted that I let them do the work on the spot. Alternatively, they offered to follow me to my home where they could do the work.

I realized it was a scam and asked them for a card and for references. They said the price they offered me was good only for today. One of the men flashed his WA drivers’ license and cited his car’s magnetic signs as proof that he was legitimate. After I decline and got into my car, another young man knocked on my window. He claimed they had done satisfactory work for him and urged me to accept the offer. I declined again and drove away.

When I got home I Googled “mobile auto body repair scam” and learned that con artists like these guys target elderly people, vandalize their cars and demand payment. http://www.city-data.com/forum/los-angeles/1647022-have-you-been-approached-one-these.html, http://www.edhat.com/site/tidbit.cfm?nid=120739&showcomments=T, http://community.cartalk.com/discussion/2141459/dent-repair-removal-scam

Did anyone else experience this?

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Possible magazine solicitation scam in Phinney

May 6th, 2012 by Doree

Willene tells us she believes she fell for a magazine solicitation scam Saturday evening.

We were just visited by a man and teen selling magazine subscriptions through a company called Urban 1.

They told us the story of trying to train teens to work hard and be responsible rather than just ask for hand-outs. We fell for it. 30 minutes later we had written a check for $105 for Sports Illustrated magazine subscription to be donated to the Veterans hospital.

The teen was going to be given 50% of the funds and Urban 1 was helping her to get her GED. etc. Of course after they left, we started to think about the details, went online, and of course Urban 1 is a known scam.

Thought we should put the word out. It’s very sad….the scam reports said that Urban 1 picks up these teens out of the shelters and actually promises them all kinds of support. The teens are being scammed too. We live near 60th and 2nd Avenue…..so that was the neighborhood they were visiting today.

A quick Internet search turned up a St. Louis-based magazine sales company called Urban 1, along with numerous complaints about the company. Did anyone else see these folks?

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Suspicious men say they’re soliciting for charities

January 22nd, 2010 by Doree

Several people have written to us about suspicious men canvassing the neighborhood, supposedly in support of charities.

I live near Greenwood and 57th and a young guy came to my door this evening asking for money for the “Greenwood Mission”. He had photos of the “mission” in a book and said it was his job to canvas the neighborhood for donations. Since my roommate answered the door I didn’t get to talk to him or I would have asked him for ID. When I came downstairs to see who it was he had already left and was making notes in a book at the bottom of my steps. She also said he smelled like alcohol. Since I had never heard of the Greenwood Mission it all seemed a little suspicious, so I called the Police. They said they were going to check in to it but they haven’t got back to me yet. Anyone know if this is legit?

In doing a little searching, I found a “U.S. Mission” with a Greenwood address (actually the postal address is at the Greenwood Sip & Ship, which rents mailboxes). The U.S. Mission’s website says it has locations in Seattle, Portland, California, Phoenix and Kansas City, and that they receive no funding from social service agencies or governments, instead relying on community donations. I’ve got a message in to the U.S. Mission to find out more about its legitimacy.

Update: We received this response from the U.S. Mission:

Please be advised that there is no connection whatsoever between the named individual purportedly representing the so-called “Greenwood Mission” and the United States Mission which operates facilities in Greenwood.

While Emissaries from the United States Mission do engage in door-to-door, religious solicitation, they do not sell magazines or any product or service. Our Emissaries are all properly credentialed with photo ID, copies of our 501(c)3 determination letter, Washington Certificate of Authority, and other documents, photos, and literature explaining our Mission program as well as providing contact information for the United States Mission, 8560 Greenwood Ave, N, #17, Seattle, WA 98103 (mailing), located at 8720 Third Ave. NW and 128 NW 81st Street, Seattle, WA 98117.

Such persons as you reported are a scourge to our Mission, causing confusion and generating mistrust in the community. They need to be stopped. We shall be happy to do whatever we can to assist you in exposing these frauds.

And here’s another:

A man came to my door last night, I answered and he gave me a highly suspect spiel about being from a charity that helps people get back on their feet…When I asked him to get to his point, he showed me a certificate that he carried in a leather bi-fold for an alleged “Strategic Inc”, claiming he would earn points if I bought a magazine subscription from him. He had a bogus printout of Magazine descriptions, and a pad of paper where he appeared to be taking notes on the doors he knocked on. He left when I asked.

Across the street I could see another man knocking on my neighbors doors, doing the same thing. The man on my porch identified the other man as his partner.

Tonight, the other man knocked on our door, apparently with the same scenario. I made a 911 report about 10 minutes ago, they said they would send a patrol to check the area. We live in the 300 block of NW 81st.

The only Strategic Inc. I could find is a fundraising company located in Minnesota, but their website says nothing about door-to-door soliciting, only telemarketing. I’ve got a message into Strategic Fundraising Inc. to see if this person is connected to the company.

Update 10:50 a.m. A vice president at Strategic Fundraising just contacted me. “This person is not associated with our company. We do mostly telefundraising for major non-profit organizations.”

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