From the inbox (our supplementary research follows the reader’s e-mail):
I live on 45th Ave SW and had a young man dressed well approach the house requesting funds for Omni-Horizons. I told him I’m supportive of helping out community groups but wanted to do some quick research about the company to be sure I approved of the place I’d contribute money to. He said it wouldn’t help him and left.
I contacted the local police, and they said it had to be a crime before they could respond (i.e., because I didn’t give them money, I didn’t have a crime to report). I just want to make folks aware – can you help?
Here’s what we found out about “Omni-Horizons.”
People using that name to solicit have had scrapes with poilce in Fairfield, CT (4th and 5th items here) and were the subject of a police alert in MN. On the other hand, the company has a positive listing with its regional Better Business Bureau. And here’s one more side of it: a website set up by parents of young people who they say have been mistreated (and worse) in the “traveling sales crew” business.
Bottom line, be wary whenever dealing with someone who comes to your door — as was the reader who e-mailed us. Seattle Police provided excellent information in this edition of the Southwest Precinct Newsletter, including what to do when someone knocks — don’t open the door, SPD says, but don’t ignore the person:
Acknowledge the knock since ignoring it may lead to an attempted burglary. It is preferable to speak to strangers through your door. In Seattle, all sellers must display the residential sales identification on their outer clothing. This ID shows the seller’s name and photo as well as the name of the business and product or service they represent. The legitimate company representatives will be properly identified and will be carrying a copy of their company’s business license. If you have any questions about whether a company is properly licensed, call the City of Seattle’s office of Revenue & Consumer Affairs at 206-684-8136.