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Skilled Criminals Posing As Students Fundraising In Placer County

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PLACER COUNTY (CBS13) — There are some young people going door-to-door allegedly raising money for school programs, but they’re really keeping the money for themselves.

We’ve heard about door to door scams, but police and victims alike say these scam artists who are posing as high school students are incredibly skilled at what they’re doing.

“[The] doorbell rang between seven and eight,” said Jeff Fulweiler, who says two of the would-be scam artists came to his home.

Jeff answered his door to who he thought were two Placer High School students suffering from the bad economy.

“They were very professional. They’d obviously been coached. They weren’t just some kids out to scam some people out of money,” said Jeff.

But that is exactly what police say they turned out to be, claiming to be school orchestra members selling books and raising money, “in theory, for a trip to London for the Placer High School orchestra,” said Jeff.

But there’s a problem, “Placer High doesn’t have an orchestra; they have a band,” said Jeff.

And while Jeff, a former Auburn teacher, sent them their on way with out falling for it, they seemed convincing.

“They actually had a little cash thing so it looked like they’d been successful,” he said.

It’s what could be part of a sophisticated crime ring popping up in the valley — and they’re thriving.

“They’re not going to see any magazines, they’re just going to take your money and you’re not going to get anything in return,” said Cpt. John Ruffcorn of the Auburn Police Department.

Police are now investigating the incident and hope that no one else opens their wallet.

“It took me a while before I realized these guys were not what they said,” said Jeff.

Police say that if you have a doubt, ask lots of questions. And, better yet, just give to your charity of choice.

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