I totally fell for it. A young man dressed like a college student - not dressed up, just looked like he was headed for class - showed up at my door. He said that they were selling magazine subscriptions. The sponsors would give them money for their trip (that costs $6000) for each subscription they sell. They're going to London, Paris, Italy & Germany and while in London they'll intern at the BBC since he's a broadcast journalism major, he said.
He said he was a sophomore at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and that his grandmother gave him permission to walk around the neighborhood for his cause. He's living with her this summer since she's sick. He said that I have probably seen her walking her two beagles around the neighborhood and that she lived on a street nearby. He was good - really good - at lying and creating this persona. He had an answer for every question. I asked to see ID - school or license - and he said that he had mistakenly left it at his grandmother's. I wrote him a check for $42 for a magazine, got my receipt and before he left I made sure to get his name, phone number, grandmother's name and address. OH! And he even said he was going to bring around a scrapbook of the trip to all of the people in the neighborhood that helped him out.
At that point I was in a hurry to leave the house but as I drove it just didn't feel right. I never fall for stuff like this. I'm very skeptical. Very skeptical. But he was such a smooth talker and I wanted to help since I'm in education. So when I got home I tried his phone number, praying it was real. It wasn't. His grandmother's street number isn't even a possibility for that street.
So I spoke to my bank and they've stopped payment on the check. If any subsequent charges come up they will dispute those for me. Sure I had to spend $32 to stop payment but I'd rather give my money to my bank then these assholes.
On the receipt it reads "Signature on the contract serves as authorization to electronically represent the check for the face value and state authorized fees without further notice if it should be dishonored. All returned, cancelled, insufficient funds or account closed checks will be subject to a minimum service fee of $30." I believe they use this statement to scare people so they'll just let it go and United Circulation will get their money. Twice it notes that if you cancel the "sales agent will not receive any contest points and are still subject to penalty points." Again with the guilt.
Ask to see the receipt before you sign it and read it closely! Ask for their student ID or driver's license. Stall them and have someone call the police. Or call a neighbor they may be headed towards so that they can stall them.
I will update this as things progress.