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Over the past week, reports have been coming in to officials at Missouri State University about people going door-to-door around Springfield trying to raise money. These salesmen are reportedly claiming to be Missouri State students and to be a part of the communication department on campus. But the university says it’s a scam. KSMU’s Adam Hammons has more on how officials are reacting.
After an email she received from a student claiming to have been approached by one of these individuals, Kelly Wood, the head of the communication department, contacted the Attorney General’s office in Missouri and sent out an email to warn the faculty at Missouri State.
Wood describes her feelings about the report and why she decided to do something about it.
“It kind of set the hairs on the back of my neck about it. You know I don’t want people representing the communication department when they don’t.”
The warning that Wood sent out states that people, posing as Missouri State students, are going door-to-do or trying to sell magazines. These individuals also claim to be earning points for a trip to London, England, sponsored by the communication department. They are reportedly saying that the money raised will go to a children’s hospital in London.
Before this warning came out, Nick Addis, a senior at Missouri State, was approached at his apartment and was asked to buy a magazine subscription. Addis describes the point when he became suspicious of the situation.
“Whenever my roommate and myself kind of got a little uneasy, we started hinting that we didn’t really want to purchase it, and that’s when he started getting pushy and saying he really needed the points and he really needed to sell magazines. So, that’s when we started thinking it was a scam.”
Even though the sales pitch was suspicious, Addis really had no proof that it was a scam. Cliff Smart, general counsel at Missouri State, explains his doubts about the legitimacy of the scenario.
“Well there’s the potential that all of this is not true, that the people that are posing as students aren’t really students. We know that their sales pitch was false because the university wasn’t sponsoring this program, in fact the university never sponsors these kinds of things.”
Smart went on to say that this kind of magazine scam is not unheard of, and that it happens to many university campuses.
An investigator with the Attorney General’s office is looking into the case.
For KSMU News, I’m Adam Hammons.