Door-to-door magazine scammers infiltrate Minneapolis neighborhood

A a fake door-to-door magazine salesman was arrested for peddling in Minneapolis' Bryn Mawr neighborhood, and 3 solicitation companies have been tied to the incident.

On June 2 around 5:45 p.m., officers were dispatched to a suspicious person call and found the man trying to sell magazines. They told him solicitors must be registered or licensed with the City of Minneapolis, and when he couldn't produce documentation, they told him to stop soliciting. They also advised him that if he was seen soliciting again he would be arrested.

A short while later, he was seen on another block doing it again, and was arrested for peddling without a license. The company he was with apparently had dropped several people off on the street.

"This company tries to lure customers by claiming that they are selling magazines to try to help people turn their lives around. The solicitors are telling potential customers that the proceeds of the sales are used to give the solicitor a second chance in life or to overcome youthful hardships. The magazines are never delivered," a Bryn Mawr Neighborhood Association notice said.

Upon further investigation, solicitors were tied to 3 different companies:

-Urban Development Solutions
-Graceful Hands
-Moving Forward

All three companies have multiple complaints from customers alleging that the magazine sales were fraudulent, they had been charged money and never received any magazines, and the cost of the subscriptions was quite high. The Better Business Bureau gave them an F and they had apparently been falsely using a BBB logo.

What you can do

Door-to-door sales require a license and/or registration in Minneapolis. Ask to see the official Minneapolis ID of any solicitors.

To see images of the ID and find more information, check the following two links which detail what is required or allowed: Solicitors, peddlers, and transient merchants license: http://go.usa.gov/35aFG (information from Business Licensing which includes details on registration/licensing)

What you need to know about door-to-door sales in Minneapolis: http://go.usa.gov/35amW

Research any company/organization, whether charitable or not, that tries to sell you items or solicit money from you. Simply doing a computer search of the company name and checking with the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org) can give you an idea of any potential issues or complaints that other customers have previously filed.

Call 911 on suspicious activity at the time it occurs.


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