MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A door-to-door sales company takes hundreds of dollars, but doesn't deliver -- so Contact 6's Katrina Cravy tried to find some answers in a very unlikely place!
Ann Wilson contacted FOX6's Contact 6 about a company called "Dreamers of America" -- involving door-to-door salesmen with heart-wrenching stories.
"He wants to make a better life for himself and his child, and he was doing this to hopefully make that happen," Wilson said.
Wilson paid $50 for a new tea pot, and was so moved by the salesman's story, she threw in a tip.
"As the kid's leaving, I borrow 20 dollars from my son to give to this guy to buy his son something on his way out the door! So I just take it a little extra," Wilson said.
That was the last Wilson heard from the man, and she never saw that new tea pot -- and she's not the only one. Contact 6 previously spoke with two other victims of the company who lost more than $400 combined.
As it turns out, Dreamers of America has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau and multiple complaints filed with the BBB and with Consumer Protection. Now, a family member, who doesn't want to be identified has come forward.
"They started in California and they would work throughout California, going up and down the state, going up to the coast. They would make it here and then they'd keep going all the way to New York," the family member told FOX6 News.
This family member says she knows the people behind "Dreamers of America" -- Andre Smith, whose face was listed on the website as the company's CEO, and a woman named Nakeda Martina. She says they had a plan.
"Nakeda and Andre knew what they were doing. But they still consistently kept on doing it. Nakeda was still going out, walking around with him, side by side. They were still recruiting people on the south side of Milwaukee and the north side of Milwaukee," the family member told FOX6 News.
One of those recruits was Laprentice County. His name appears on the company's official corporate record, and his cell phone voicemail says: "Thank you for contacting Dreamers of America LLC."
Smith says Laprentice is the one behind the company, but he says he's now working a different door-to-door job in Detroit.
Hoping for answers, FOX6's Contact 6 tracked down Martina, who defended Smith after hiding from a Contact 6 producer in the ladies room.
"It's not Andre's fault. Andre did not give those people permission to go and take money from those people. And because it was Andre's business, it all backfired on him. And because Andre's my child's father, it's backfiring on me!" Martina said.
However, the family member who spoke with FOX6 says that is not true.
"She said he's the victim and she's a victim. No. Told you, you can't be a victim if you know exactly what you're doing," the family member said.
Dreamers of America is no longer in operation, and to date, none of the customers FOX6 spoke with have gotten their money back.
FOX6's Contact 6 says to save your money: if a door-to-door salesman knocks, get that person's name, the company's name, address and phone number. Then, tell them to come back when you've had a chance to check with the BBB and look for reviews online. If they are legit, they will not mind.