Skilled Criminals Posing As Students Fundraising In Placer County

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.

  • Sylar

    Just some bums, whoever does that, get a life.

  • Bummer

    Sometimes I wonder if people stopped giving bums money,
    would they still be bumming it?

  • david

    c’mon now people. by now hasn’t everyone learned to never give money, of any amount, to door to door solicitors? there are a number of valid charities that could use your money. if you seriously want to donate to education then contact your favorite school, college, university and ask if they need donations. there was one that came to my door, asked for donations for vets. looked official with clipboard, pictures, and made sure a small wad of cash was visible for me. told him no, that i do donate to the local american legion post and local veteran’s hospital. never ever give donations at your door. some keep a patsy list and share it among themselves. patsy meaning you give money.

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  • greg

    Latinos maybe?

  • Clay Boggess

    This only hurts those who are legitimately attempting to raise money for their school or organization. People need to ask basic questions before they buy such as what is the money being used for or tell me the name of your organization, for example.

    Clay Boggess

  • Karen Bailey

    There is a pair of young women in the Carmichael area who are running a similar scam only they are claiming the reading material will be sent to military people!
    They are professional enough to gather bits and pieces from each neighbor they scam or try to scam and use it on the next victim. They also have what appears to be a collection of cash that they have obtained from the neighborhood. BE CAREFUL THESE GIRLS WANT TO COME IN AND USE THE BATHROOM ETC. I BELIEVE CASING THE PLACE!! I GAVE THEM MONEY TO BE RID OF THEM (GO FIGURE) THEY SCARED ME THAT MUCH AND I AM NOT THAT PERSON WHO SCARES EASILY!!!!

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