Magazine scam targets Ronald McDonald House

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LITTLE ROCK, AR – A scam is circulating in at least one Little Rock neighborhood, preying on people’s sympathy towards children with cancer.

It all centers on homeowners duped into believing they are helping out Ronald McDonald Charities of Arkansas before they realize it’s a scam.

It’s one of the more recognizable charities in the state. The Ronald McDonald House provides a place to stay for families with children receiving cancer treatment at Arkansas Children’s Hospital right across the street in Little Rock.

Executive Director Karen Erren says she’s now dealing with scam artists canvassing neighborhoods, claiming to sell magazine subscriptions benefitting Ronald McDonald Charities.

“We are always concerned when our name isn’t used correctly,” Erren says.

According to neighbors the solicitors so far have been spotted in the Heights, using the name Opportunity Sales Inc. A quick search finds the company based out of Memphis, TN with a disconnected phone number and an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau.

“We do not have anyone in the neighborhood selling magazines to benefit Ronald McDonald House,” Erren says.

Under Little Rock city ordinance solicitors are breaking the law by even knocking on your door if they don’t have a permit.

Mayor Mark Stodola pushed for even stronger measures two years ago, but his “no knock” list proposal never passed. Erren just wants people to be on the lookout.

“I would say if someone knocks on your door and says they’re selling magazines to benefit Ronald McDonald Charities of Arkansas you can be absolutely certain it is not accurate,” Erren says.

It’s unclear how long this scam has been circulating in central Arkansas but there are reports of it migrating from the Memphis area earlier this year.

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