Watch out for people knocking on your door selling magazines, they could be trying to get in your medicine cabinet.

Maricopa Police public affairs specialist Ricardo Alvarado said Friday residents in Palo Brea, Senita and Rancho El Dorado have been victims to a scheme in which two people – often a man and a woman – come to the door trying to sell magazines.

One person engages the person answering the door and the other asks to use the bathroom and later the homeowner realizes prescription medication, mostly pain killers, have been stolen.

No one has been hurt.

“We’ve had a few door-to-door people selling magazines and one keeps the person (answering the door) distracted and the other steals stuff,” Alvarado said. “In the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen an upswing in this activity.”

While the magazine scam has nothing to do with the fraudulent credit and debit card use/transactions case stemming from Bashas’, AJ’s Fine Foods or Food City locations, more Bashas’ cases are turning up.

The FBI is heading up that case, but the MPD is taking reports from local residents impacted by the scheme in which fraudulent charges to victims’ accounts are occurring in Arizona, Texas, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, North Carolina, Italy, France, Canada and Mexico.

“We had 14 calls over the weekend,” Alvarado said. The public is asked to call MPD dispatch 520-568-3673 if they think they’ve been a subject of this crime.

Or, he pointed out, people can go to and file a complaint.

Meanwhile, MPD issued this advisory on solicitors:

Check before you open the door

if you have a peephole in your door that allows you to look out at who is standing on your doorstep, then use it. The person or persons standing outside may be perfectly harmless, but there are some criminals who pose as salespeople with others in their group who enter the house from the back and commit a burglary right under your nose. So it is always best to be on guard and to watch who you open the door to, especially after dark if you are on your own. It is better to err on the side of caution than become a victim of a crime.

“No Solicitors” sign

An effective way to deter solicitors from coming to your home is to put up a "No solicitors" sign on your front door. Then as soon as would-be solicitors notice the sign, they should walk away. If they fail to do so, you have a right to tell these people to vacate your property right away.

If a solicitor knocks at your door, that person must display a City issued ID card that contains their photo, name, company, ID number and expiration date before they even start their "pitch." Be aware that the average con-artist will have many reasons why he/she does not have a solicitor ID to show you. Remember that there is no "legal" reason not to have it. The only exemption for not having a solicitor ID is a city resident canvassing his or her neighborhood from house to house for contributions or support for any charitable, religious, civic, educational, philanthropic, social service, or welfare organization.


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