Political Street Scams?

From a reader:

Hey PoP,

Did you have a couple of guys show up at your door collecting money in support of Obama, 2 days ago? They claimed it was a grass roots support thing and they did not have a website to collect money later or even literature to drop off. That if they didn’t collect enough money they would not raise enough support for Obama to counter the Republican’s smear commercials due to Obama declining to accept corporate money this year. They said not only was it to support Obama’s campaign but to support the refusal to use Corporate money. They wanted donations starting from $20.08 or more. They went down my entire street knocking on doors. They were pretty pushy and I was clearly trying to let them down politely but they just kept at it. Even saying I could donate as little as $10.00. First off, who would refuse a donation of even a dollar? Did they come to your door? And have you heard anything about it, was it real or was it a scam?

They didn’t come to my door, it’s pretty well known that I’m an Adlai Stevenson supporter. So did anyone else encounter these folks? Legit or not? Here are some of the other scams and here too oh and here too. Man there are a lot of (possible) scammers out there.

23 Comment

  • Author, please also post this on the MPD-4D listserv.

  • I get so hit for money at my door, I wouldn’t even give it to my own mother if she showed up asking for a dollar. Legitimate organizations do not go door to door asking for cash… well okay maybe UNICEF but that’s different.

  • i can appreciate a grass roots effort, but even the most low budget outfit can whip up a blog with details and run off a few copies at kinkos…

  • Over the weekend, I got hit up a few times by a dude claiming to be from an organization called Enivronment America. He wanted me to renew my membership, even though I’ve never heard of this organization, much less contributed in the past. The call box at my building’s front door rings my cell phone, and I was actually in Arizona at the time, so I never saw the guy, but he was not very professional and so I assumed it was a scam. Or an assassin.

  • Oops…I spelled Environment wrong.

  • these young kids ( 9 or 10) showed up at my door one day and just asked for money… no scam, just asking for money WTF????

  • It is a total scam though the scammer is up on his current events though uses them in a manner to project a need. Obama never turned down corporate money but opted out of the public financing aspect of the presidential campaign.

  • They came to our door. I told them I give online and to go away.

  • Environment America is a legit organization that lobbies for environmental issues, I tried to link to their website but apparently PoP’s blog service doesn’t like that so just google “environment america” and you’ll find it. It sounds though like the guy who knocked on your door wasn’t affiliated with them and was trying to make a buck.

  • David, were they not the pushiest SOB’s ever! I kept politely trying to tell them I was not going to donate at the time but they kept on. Next time I will be sure to just tell the people I support the other guy regardless who it is, be it Satan or Uncle Sam, and slam the door in their faces. It sure is pretty low thinking you are entitled to someone else’s hard earned money because you think you are a good liar or just plain lazy.

    oh and Turkey Burger, they might have said Public Financing, to be honest I just stopped listening to them 100% because they weren’t listening to me telling them no, so I wasn’t going to listen to them spin their lies or even their truths anymore.

  • Well Kalia, I was remarkably curt, which is out of character, but it helped that the dog, small and cute as she is, was barking up a storm, and I was just plain annoyed. I was equally short several months ago with women who said she was from the gas company and could average out bills. They had lousy credentials, and I thought, hey, I would get that information in the flyers that come with the bill, and if we need the service, I will set it up on line. She was really annoyed I wouldn’t bring her a copy of my gas bill. Hmmm.

  • This is why I don’t answer the door if I am not expecting someoone. Problem solved!

  • I wonder if they were set up as an astro-turf organization by the GOP to discredit Obama?

  • This guy came to my house too, and was very pushy bordering on rude. It did seem suspicious, but I later called the DNC and talked to their local DC rep who told me they did in fact have people canvasing the Petworth area. Still doesn’t prove this guy wasn’t a scam artist, but makes me feel a little better. I let the DNC guy know that if it was one of his staff he needed to give him some coaching on how to interact with strangers when you’re asking for money.

  • I work with the Obama campaign and we are not sendig anyone out to funraise door to door. In other states we are canavassing (identifying Obama supporters) but not at this time in DC.

    Everyone should note there is a big grassroots organization in DC – “DC for Obama” that is not coordinating directly with the campaign but is sending volunteers to battle ground states (e.g. Virginia) and doing informal bake sale fundraising for their activities.

    Moveon.org is also doing grassroots fundraising (bake sales, house parties, etc.) but it is pretty obvious if they’re legitimate.

  • I wasn’t going to comment at all on this but will now. If the campaign itself is truly not here going door to door, they should know that there are people going around fundraising in Obama’s name. I had a nice young woman come to the door yesterday who I think claimed she was from the Obama campaign, and also wanted me to sign something and donate. She was very persistent and talked a mile a minute — mentioned how hanging chads stole the election last time, voter fraud in Ohio, etc. I really thought it was an odd way for a national campaign to raise funds…. so I pledged my vote and shooed her off the porch.

  • The young woman who came to my door said she was collecting for the DNC, rather than a single candidate.

  • I have a neighbor who routinely knocks on our door, begging for money. He has never paid a cent back. AND I LIE TO HIM. I say that my husband has been laid off, or that they’ve cut back on my hours or whatever. I know all he wants is to buy a beer or a blunt and that his family have stopped financing his bad habits. And I’m not contributing.

  • Anonymous 3:37 — you’re right! You just jogged my memory. I believe the woman at my door was with the DNC as well, probably the same person. Thanks for mentioning it.

  • I used to have a neighbor who’d ask for money too – but at least he’d do some work for it. I knew that he was laid off, and wasn’t (as far as I could tell) a huge drug user, so I helped. He’d mow for 15 minutes, and I’d give him $20.

  • Obama has inspired a hell of a lot of volunteerism. I could completely see some well-meaning people going door to door to fundraise for Obama, in the same way that a bunch of people had bake sales for him on different corners last weekend. Since they clearly have nothing to do with the actual campaign, I would totally understand if they were poor at execution–but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s automatically a scam.

  • I gave $20. The next day I got a call from Darlington House thanking me for my donation.

  • I was wondering if it was a scam as well and your page came up when I googled info about it. A girl came to my door yesterday with the same speech asking for $110 for the DNC and she was really pushy, even after I said that I’d do it online because you can’t really trust people in this day. She then showed me the donation form as some kind of proof that it was legitimate. I told her that I’m a graphic designer and I could have easily designed it and gotten it printed too, so that I wasn’t impressed. Even with that she just kept pushing. Eventually I had to tell her to leave because I gave her enough of my time. I just thought it was weird that even after I said I’d donate online she kept pushing for a donation at the door. Maybe I’m too skeptical.

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