DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. -

CBS Local 2 "Stands for You", with a warning about an apparent scam involving children going door to door selling popcorn.

Tom Tucker spoke with a woman in Desert Hot Springs, who says she got ripped off by the children, who said they were raising money for their church.

Kimberly Black says the children recently came to her front door taking orders for a popcorn sale.

They had a printed brochure, and they told her it was a fundraiser for the United Methodist Church, which is just a couple of blocks from Black's house.

"They were two african american children.  One was probably ten or eleven years old, and the other was a little boy, who was maybe five or six," said Black.

Wanting to support the cause, Black says she decided to order about 50 dollars worth of popcorn.

Not having cash at the time, Kimberly asked the children if they would accept a check

The children asked to use Black's phone to call their dad, who they said was "Pastor Joe", to see if taking a check was okay.

They were told not to take a check, and later came back for cash.

"What i thought was a good thing turned out not to be such a good thing, because I don't feel the money went to the appropriate thing I thought I was giving my money to," said Kimberly.

The preschool teacher, who is now spending time at home to help care for her infant grandson, said after waiting for her popcorn for several days, and not receiving it, she contacted the church and discovered she was scammed.

Kimberly says she called the United Methodist Church at the corner of Mesquite and Pierson.  A church staffer told her a "Pastor Joe" does not work at the church, and said the church does not do door-to-door fund raisers.

After calling the church, Black says she called the Desert Hot Springs Police Department, to see what they might do to help her.  But, she says a staffer told her it was a "civil matter".

"I called the Desert Hot Springs Police Department and explained what had gone on.  The young lady who answered the phone said 'I'm sorry, you freely gave your money to them it is your fault there is nothing we can do,'" said Black.

As part of her efforts to get her money back, and stop the apparent scam artists, Black says several times, she has called the number left in her phone, which the children used to call the man they said was their dad.

The grandmother says she was not the only one who was duped.

Her handyman told her he heard about two other homeowners nearby on El Cajon Drive who say they also got scammed.

Black says she wants to prevent anyone else from getting ripped off.

"I honestly believe they thought that they were doing a fundraiser for a church.  I don't think that they came to my door with the intention of deliberately defrauding me," said Black.

Black says she believes it was the adult involved in the operation who had sinister motives in sending the children door-to-door.

We spoke with Desert Hot Springs Police Commander Jim Henson, who says he was unable to figure out who at the department Katherine Black spoke with by phone.

The Commander says reports on incidents like this case should be filed, and he said he wants Black to call him so he can offer to help her.