Guide to Door to Door Solicitors
Door-to-door fundraising is as common in the summer as lemonade stands. High school athletes sell local vendor discount cards, Boy Scouts sell popcorn, local schools sell gift wrap. But what used to be a summer norm has now turned into an opportunity for crime.
While some solicitations are legitimate, others sell damaged and overpriced goods or may even be scouting homes for future burglaries. Before you open your door to a solicitor, consider this. In recent months there has been an increase in illegal solicitors, some extremely aggressive, who reportedly sell items such as magazine subscriptions, household cleaners, and residential security systems. Don’t expect all perpetrators of door to door sales scams to look the part. Some are clean and well dressed and use special psychological techniques to try to get into your home or get your money.
Here are some guidelines on how to help protect you and your family from illegal solicitors:
- If you don’t know the person, don’t open the door. Never feel obligated to greet an unfamiliar person knocking at your door.
- Always keep doors and windows locked. Storm doors or security doors are helpful when dealing with solicitors, because you can see and speak safely through the door. Never allow an unfamiliar person into your house.
- Solicitors must have a business license and permit. Call your local law enforcement agency if a solicitor is aggressively attempting to get into your home or refusing to show their license/permit.
- Don’t expect all perpetrators of door to door sales scams to look the part. Some are clean and well dressed and use special psychological techniques to try to get into your home or get your money.
- Always use extreme caution before providing any personal or financial information.
- If you are not interested, simply close the door and lock it. You don’t owe the person an explanation.
- Stand in front of your home to see what is visible from the street. If you can see your valuable items through the front windows, so can potential burglars.
- Residents can put a “no solicitors” sign on their door to help keep solicitors away.
- If you observe criminal or suspicious activity, call non-emergency dispatch at 832-WCSO (9276)