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BBB issues alert about questionable door to door sales operation in Columbia

The Better Business Bureau has issued an alert about a questionable door to door sales operation in Columbia.

It’s a group of young men who say they work for a company called Patriot Packaging Sales and they solicit donations to send care packages to troops overseas.

ABC 17 News learned the company is based out of Minnesota and was started up earlier this year.

The owner of the company told the Better Business Bureau that the company has hired independent contractors to go door to door in Columbia for the next few weeks.

A Columbia woman who asked to remain anonymous described the salesman who stopped by her house, asking if she wanted to donate.

“He said he had a family background in the military, asked a lot about my family’s history in the military and just that he was really trying to build his resume in helping an organization out that sent care packages overseas and I really didn’t question his motives until he started to leave,” she said.

The woman said after she looked into the Patriot Packaging website, she realized it mimicked the website of a Missouri company called Patriot Packages, a non-profit that has nothing to do with the company Patriot Packaging.

That’s when the woman said she called the Better Business Bureau.

“We found out that this is a for-profit company, it’s not a non-profit so that can be a little misleading,” said Mike Harrison with the Better Business Bureau.

Harrison said the BBB contacted the owner of the company, Scott Crawford.

“Based on that conversation, his company pays these independent contractors 20 percent of the sales they make,” he said. “In that conversation, Scott Crawford, the co-owner said he wasn’t sure actually how much [money] was going toward these care packages.”

Harrison said that’s the BBB’s main concern- that consumers can’t be a hundred percent sure where their money is going.

ABC 17 News called Patriot Packaging Sales Monday. An employee said 80 percent of the money goes toward the care packages.

It’s unknown how many packages have actually been sent since the company started business.

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