Saturday, May 10, 2008

The TRS Scam Is Back

I wrote about my issue with solicitors from Tuscan Reader Services last August:
I hate these college kids who come to the door and tell you they’re raising money for a (fill in the sport) team trip to (fill in the foreign country). They want you to buy magazines or books, or there’s this new thing where they just want you to write a check and claim they’ll donate the books to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital for you.

Well, they’re back. We’ve had three such kids come to the door already this year. The last one, Thursday night, really pissed me off. If we hadn’t been rushing out for the evening I’d have given her a piece of my mind, but I didn’t have time for a confrontation.

The kid lied to me. I mean, I always figured they were lying, but this was a lie I could verify. She told me she lived in a particular house, but in fact I actually happen to know the family that does live there, and she isn’t one of them. She made up a whole big story about how they’re selling the house and moving one street over--also a lie. I know the family has their house on the market and they’re moving to another part of town.

This is what kills me. Every time they come to the door they make up a family name, pick a house in the neighborhood, and claim to live in it. Well, our neighborhood is pretty sociable with one another. We’ve had quite a few neighborhood get-togethers and while we don’t know everyone, I certainly know the people on my street. The assumption seems to be, since this is a suburban neighborhood, no one will know one another. Maybe that’s true for some neighborhoods but it’s not true for us.

I just find this tactic so offensive. It’s a blatant lie, for one thing. If you’re going to lie about who you are and pretend to be part of the neighborhood, then I’m going to assume you’re also lying about delivering books to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.

I don’t know if Tuscan Reader Services is technically a scam (though plenty of folks on the internet say they are.) In the past I’ve bought magazine subscriptions and I have actually received a magazine--eventually. And not necessarily the one I ordered, either: once I started getting some magazine for Christian moms. That went over well in our house.

But I do know these kids are liars. And that right there is reason enough for me to feel justified in not giving them one penny.

So take this as a warning. If these fresh-faced college kids come to your door saying they live up the street and are raising money for an art trip to France, rest assured that the only trip they are taking is to another neighborhood to scam some other folks out of their money.