BBB Warns Of Potential Scam Involving Children's Schoolbooks
by Kelsey Watts, KHQ Local News Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
SPOKANE, Wash – It's becoming a familiar story in the Inland Northwest: people with European accents coming door-to-door, trying to sell schoolbooks to families with kids. Because the sellers have not identified themselves with any particular company, there's no way to prove it is a scam, but the Better Business Bureau says there are several red flags.
"It's alarming because you never know someone's intentions when they come to your door and tell you a story, they could be truthful or they could be trying to get something out of you, whether it's money, or personal information, or knowing you have children for maybe a really uncomfortable reason," Chelsea Maguire, with the Spokane BBB, told KHQ's Kelsey Watts.
It hasn't just happened to one person; the potential scammers have come to homes in St. John, Rosalia, Tekoa and North Spokane. The BBB office in Yakima also had reports of the same thing.
Tara Chittenden in Tekoa is one of the people who was targeted, and she told KHQ's Kelsey Watts the woman who came to her door asked twice to come inside, then was persistent that Chittenden's children come outside to look at the books, and was asking a lot of questions about them.
"She kept saying, would your boys be interested, what grades are they in, what are their interests," Chittenden said. "It sounds kind of scary, I would say."
Chittenden said she never felt in danger, but thought the visit was odd.
"What concerns is us they're targeting a very vulnerable demographic: a family, knowing there's children involved," Maguire added.
Other KHQ viewers have shared similar experiences, concerned the sellers are part of a child-luring ring. While there's no way to prove their intention, the BBB says you should never let a stranger inside your home, and if you feel your safety is at risk, call police.
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