Over the past few days, we’ve received multiple reports of door-to-door solicitors – or people claiming to be – working this area. Ahead, some of those reports, and a reminder about the rules, in case somebody turns up at your door:
First, Keith reports what he believes to have been a case of casing rather than selling:
Caught two men in their early 20s casing our house near 40th and Dakota as my partner and I pulled out from the alley. They quickly lit cigarettes as we sat in the alley for a moment. Then when pulled out into the street to see where they were headed, one of them waved me over to ask “which way is Alaska?” They claimed to be out in the neighborhood selling magazines, but had no ID, clipboard, bags, etc. Called it in to the non-emergency number. Both Caucasian, with close-cropped brown hair, one in a black hoodie.
NW in Belvidere wrote:
Just wanted to say (with a bit of embarrassment) that I think I just fell victim to a scam and I’d like to get the word out to prevent others from doing the same. Two youths came to the door with a routine about selling magazine subscriptions and books in order to win a trip to Rome. They were very quick talkers and gave a whole spiel about learning public speaking and that sort of thing. The first bit of the routine was inquiring about my career and supposedly they get points based on the people they meet in various careers. They then proceeded with the sales pitch for magazine & book sales with options to get the subscription for myself or donate it to the troops or VA hospitals. I am embarrassed to admit I gave them money (not the full $40 for a magazine subscription they wanted) but still…
After they left – he looked up the company name, Blue Diamond, and discovered an “F” with the Better Business Bureau, plus a report from one month ago that its two founders were in legal trouble.
An Arbor Heights resident also e-mailed to say he was solicited to buy magazines from somebody from a different company that he looked up and found disturbing information about. (We couldn’t find that information corroborated online, so we’re not using the company’s name.)
Then there’s W, who says his neighborhood has had multiple waves of solicitors:
We have just had the third group of young adults in three days trying to sell us magazines. The first and second group wanted to meet 15 non-violent people in the neighborhood for an assignment and then out came the plastic coated magazine cards while the third couple had a different scam. They wanted money for a trip to Prague for a Youth Leadership Conference in June. Both of them were U of W students and in the Foster school of Business. They “lived down the street” and most of the neighbors didn’t want the magazines and just wanted to donate money. When asked for ID and City of Seattle permit to sell they had neither. We called U of W School of Business and they confirmed there was a conference in July/August. There had been other calls from Mercer Island last week asking the same questions. Beware
The city rules for door-to-door soliciting, aka “residential sales,” are here. Among the big ones: They need licenses and IDs; hours are restricted to 8 am-9 pm; if you have a “no soliciting” sign, they’re supposed to leave you alone. But if someone is simply asking for a charity contribution, they do NOT require a license. For a summary of the rules, check this report from our friends at MyBallard.com.