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Never buy magazine subscriptions or products from door-to-door
salesman, especially when you are not going to receive what you paid
for, on the spot. In this case, the ‘pay-now-get-later’ deal from the
‘salesman’ actually means ‘pay-now-get-nothing-later’.

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Tressie Shiflet thought she was doing a good deed last week when she bought a magazine subscription from a door-to-door salesman.

The salesman was a young man who presented himself as Kenny Davenport and said he was a Groves resident who lived on Whitaker. The man stated that he was a senior at Texas Christian University (TCU) and was raising money for a trip to London to perform at the Globe Theater. Being a TCU alumni, Shiflet wrote the man a check for $96 under the impression that the magazines would be sent to the Children’s Hospital of Dallas, a hospital she chose thinking the subscription would benefit both patients and parents of patients.

It was a few days later, when her rebate check for $43 that the salesman promised her hadn’t arrived that she thought she may have made a mistake. Shiflet’s granddaughter, Tressie Nichols agreed and contacted TCU for more information.

“The university said my grandmother was the fourth alumni to call and say something like this had happened,” Nichols said. “They also said they never send people out door-to-door and don’t have any students planning trip to London to perform at the Globe.”

The granddaughter continued her investigation into the salesman, who had her grandmother’s $96 check made out to Team Extreme, and contacted the Better Business Bureau.

“When I called and told them my story, they asked me what name the guy was using today,” Nicholas said. “Apparently they’ve gotten some calls about this, too.”

After looking up any Davenports who live on Whitaker in Groves, and searching for Team Extreme online and through 4-1-1 information line, and finding no results, Nichols contacted the city of Groves.

Interim City Marshal, Jeff Wilmore said Shiflet isn’t the first victim of this type of crime and other residents need to look out for potential scam artists.

Wilmore said that any legitimate door-to-door salesman in Groves will have permits issued through the city and will have gone through background checks.

“We take their pictures and have copies of their drivers licenses,” he said. “They have to have permits from the city to sell items door-to-door.”

To keep citizens safe from other schemers, Wilmore suggested that residents ask salesmen for their credentials before listening to their sales pitch.

“If they don’t have a permit, don’t do business with them,” he said.

The city marshal also said that if anyone feels they were conned by a door-to-door salesman, they should immediately contact the police department to file a report and try to contact the company the check was written out to.

While Shiflet did put a stop payment on her $96 check, her relief comes from knowing she may have helped others from going through the same stressful situation she did.

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