Door-to-door alert – from Olympia: ‘Beware of these solicitors’

June 4, 2012 at 6:12 pm | In Door-to-door alert, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

Since door-to-door solicitors are often a hot topic here, we thought you might be interested in a news release sent today by State Attorney General Rob McKenna‘s office in Olympia. No specific companies named, but a general warning about the “door-to-door magazine sellers from out of state”:

Guess who is back in town? It’s the door-to-door magazine sellers from out of state who appear on doorsteps claiming outrageously priced subscriptions will help fund “second chance” opportunities for inner city youth. The Washington Attorney General’s Office has issued warnings about such visitors before, and is again alerting consumers to beware of these solicitors and think twice before buying their magazines.

The Attorney General’s Office has received numerous complaints from victimized consumers who paid $50 to $784 for magazine subscriptions purchased from door-to-door sellers. Consumers say they were touched by the solicitors’ stories and believed their purchases would be for a good cause. Solicitors claim to be earning money for college, working toward a better job, receiving points for a free trip, or contributing proceeds to help homeless youth.

“Unfortunately, another common theme is that time and again, consumers throughout the country never receive the magazines they purchased, or hear from the sellers again, and have no idea what happened to their money.” said Attorney General Rob McKenna.

Many of these solicitors claim to work for “business or job training” companies that send young adults door to door to give them a “fresh start” on life. In a recent complaint to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, one seller claimed to represent a company called “Strictly Business.” The consumer did his own checking and found the company was based in Texas. It had a Better Business Bureau rating of “F” for failing to respond to complaints and failing to deliver magazines.

“Besides the potential of falling victim to fraud, there are many other risks involved, such as threats to personal safety or the possibility of being a victim of identity theft. It all makes buying items from strangers who knock on your door a bad idea,” added McKenna.

Consumers should always check out a charity with the Secretary of State prior to making a donation. A state search engine listing registered charities is available at www.secstate.wa.gov/charities.

8 Comments

  1. For more on the dangers for the *kids* involved, please visit this website:

    http://www.parentwatch.org/index.html

    The kindest and safest thing you can do is post a No Solicitors sign.

    Comment by islewrite — 6:22 pm June 4, 2012 #

  2. I wish the social default was “No Solictors” and only if you have a sign saying “Solicitors OK” would people be allowed to solicit your door.

    Comment by Robert — 7:05 pm June 4, 2012 #

  3. Since what they are doing is against the law, shouldn’t we be calling the police when they darken our doorways? Or is it to low a priority for the cops? How we even stop them unless the authorities help us out.

    Comment by Michael Waldo — 7:42 pm June 4, 2012 #

  4. This scam has been going on for at least fifty years around the country. I remember my mother fell for it back in the late fifties. It’s hard to imagine it’s still alive and thriving from the gullible souls all over the country.

    Comment by Bill Bacon — 10:17 pm June 4, 2012 #

  5. We had a guy going door to door with one brochure on a clipboard claiming to be from a new carpet cleaning company. He did not go to every house, just scattered houses on the block. I called 911
    This was on 26th in North Delridge on the weekend

    Comment by Knorbeck — 5:32 am June 5, 2012 #

  6. I like the advice someone once said that as soon as you open the door (or before and through a window), take their picture. I bet they won’t hang around long. :)

    Comment by Andrew — 7:36 am June 5, 2012 #

  7. Waldo, one way would be if people stopped opening their doors to strangers, or at very least, stopped giving them money.

    Comment by S — 10:55 am June 5, 2012 #

  8. Never open your door unless you are expecting someone you know well. If its an emergency, they will call 911

    Comment by Norma — 2:16 pm June 5, 2012 #

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