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Beware of door-to-door political fundraising scams

I spoke today with an Oakland resident who said a man came to his door yesterday soliciting money for the Obama campaign; the resident called the campaign, where staffers confirmed they’re not fundraising door-to-door.

All sorts of political campaigns regularly send volunteers door-to-door to register voters, distribute literature, answer questions and get out the vote, but anyone asking for money — especially cash — should set off your scam-o-meter. There are plenty of ways to give to the campaign of your choice, either online or by mail or at a campaign office or event, but be careful not to be taken in by a con artist.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Brian

    You’re wrong. Many of the groups do not work directly for the campaign, but for the DNC or MoveOn.org. I, for example, work for Grassroots Campaigns and we collect money for Barack Obama door to door

  • Amelia

    Just had man come to my home in Los Angeles late this afternoon asking for donations for the DNC. Gave him a check for $50 made out to DNC.
    Filled out form with address and whether or not I’d like to volunteer. Saw he was going door to door with at least one other woman. Would like to know if this is indeed a scam.

  • Josh Richman

    Amelia — can’t say for sure, but it’s probably less likely to be a scam if they’re taking checks instead of cash.

  • N. Courtney

    Actually Josh with a check a person can easily empty your checking account, electronic funds transfer, is the number one way to obtain money from someone. You have their ID on the check, the routing number, and the account number. When someone gets a check in the mail out of the blue and deposits that check into their account, the thieves use the information from the canceled check to get that information, and then electronically debit your account, and trust me the bank won’t call you or notify you that there has been a withdrawal until there is an overdraft. If you want to donate to any campaign you can mail a check or money order directly to the campaign or on their websites.