February 11, 2012

googling timothy salgado . . .

Folks in Houston,
There is a fraud scam afoot - a guy (sometimes 2 guys) coming to the door (introduces himself as a UH student) selling magazines to be donated to Texas Children's Hospital or MD Anderson Cancer Center with part of cost to assist UH student baseball team trip (I think they have a list of those of those of us who are UH alumni and only hit certain addresses in the neighborhood - may not be a door to door fraud). He (or they) claim to be grandchildren of a neighbor just around the corner ("You've probably seen her out walking her dog or maybe you know her? She's lived her for quite a while . . . "). He (or they) are nice, friendly (maybe a little pushy, but in palsy-walsy sort of way) but persistent . . . after all, it's all for a good cause and some of the neighbors have already bought several of the book / magazine selections for the kids (Texas Children's Hospital is the more popular) and a couple of the neighbors mentioned how involved you are in the neighborhood and how you like to help people, etc. etc. etc. Finally, we are to make the check to "Timothy Salgado" a baseball coach at UH (or, in other cases, the Mass Comm Professor who is working with the students, etc. Google Timothy Salgado and don't write any checks to him . . .
Yours truly,
Scammed in Houston
(BUT, we did figure some of it out yesterday evening and were able to close our account this a.m. and go through all the attendant hassle; however, the SOB does not have our $ . . . only tweaked our time and pride . . . Timothy Salgado . . .
Between 3:00 and 4:00 pm yesterday a young man rang my doorbell, waking me up from a nap and I opened the door. He began to explain to me that he was the grandchild of a neighbor several doors down the street, and he was raising money to study abroad in Italy as he was a student at Le Cordon Bleu. His personality was very friendly, but pushy. He said that his grandparents were paying for his trip, but they were making him raise money for a fellow student to go on the trip. His "instructor" Timothy Salgado had chosen his fellow classmate "Shawn" to receive the funds to go on the trip.

He went on to explain that the way he was raising money was to sell magazine subscriptions, which we could either receive ourselves OR donate them to troops abroad. I chose to buy 2 subscriptions for $146.00 to send to a nonprofit organization out of North Carolina called Soldiers Angels*. After I gave him the check he rambled on about also working on his pilot licensee and having a patent on a toilet invention (I know, crazy.) as his "back up" plans.
And again, googling Timothy Salgado . . .
Friday afternoon, I received a knock on my door. Two fellows stood before me, holding up some papers. “Hello,” said one of them, “I live up the block. You’ve probably seen my mom walking her lab sometimes.” Sure sure… although I can’t say I have, but I also don’t ay any attention to anything. According to them, they were students at UH in the Communication’s program raising money for a trip to England to intern at the BBC. Had I ever heard of the BBC? Of course, I had, I am cultured too.

We chatted for a while about what they were doing, and what they would be doing in London. I am a recent graduate of the UH Mass Com Master’s program, so I immediately wanted to help them out. They were selling magazines to raise money for their trip and if I wasn’t interested in the magazines, they could be donated to a soldier oversees. The soldier would even write me letter of thanks. Well that sounds lovely.

Sure, I’ll donate a magazine to a soldier and support a fellow Communications Cougar. I picked out two magazines, as they said I should, and as they wrote up the bill, I ran to get my check book.

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