Reader report: Another suspicion-stirring solicitor

From Andrea (here’s a map of the location she mentions):

Around 8:30 p.m. last night a suspicious man knocked on our door claiming to be selling home security. He was from “Icon Security” but after googling the company we discovered it was fake. He asked my husband strange questions such as if he was married and how long we’d lived there. We called the police an hour later after realizing he was a fake, but they said they couldn’t do anything as too much time had passed. The told us to call 911 right away if it happens again. I’d like to know if anyone else has encountered this man. We’re located around 29th and Holden.

In separate e-mail, Andrea’s husband described the solicitor as a “chubby 30-ish white guy.”

21 Replies to "Reader report: Another suspicion-stirring solicitor"

  • kirida May 1, 2008 (11:54 am)

    That guy came to our house, too. We had just come home and he was already at our door. My husband talked to him as I opened the door to let my toddler inside. He was really staring at our security system and asking if we liked the service and if we wanted to put one of his company signs in our yard. He had a laminated badge and seemed more annoying than suspicious. Two days later I saw him and another guy walking up to a house on 18th Ave SW.

  • Andy May 1, 2008 (12:17 pm)

    same guy knocked on my door asking for “the new home owner”. Told him no thanks and he politely left. Thanks for the info Andrea! I live off Alaska & Delridge.

  • Sarah May 1, 2008 (1:19 pm)

    We had the same guy come by on Tuesday night at 7ish. Weird questions like if our road is a dead end street, if we’re married, etc. He wanted to see our back door. Thankfully, we said nooooooo thanks.
    This was on 14th and Barton.

  • LK May 1, 2008 (1:48 pm)

    Similar guy came to our place this week, too. I believe it was Tuesday, around 7 pm. My husband spoke to a clean cut, white man in his 30s. He wanted us to put an Icon security sign in our yard, for which they’d give us $1000 towards putting in a security system. My husband obviously didn’t say “yes,” but since the guy didn’t pose any weird questions and gave a decent enough pitch, my husband dismissed it as a poor-sounding deal and didn’t think to call 911. This took place off Delridge, couple blocks behind the library. I work from home, as do several neighbors, so there are always several folks at home on our block, and we report any suspicious activity, but this slipped by. Rather than stewing with our suspicions, I think next time we’ll just call 911. If the police think it’s worth investigating, they can make that call.

    BTW, this is at least the 4th time someone has come to our door in the past month–two different, suspicious pitches and two religious solicitors (who weren’t so suspicious–the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses).

    I would love a little context for all the door to door alerts. Any sense of how often these are actually followed by break-ins in the neighborhood? Is this amount of activity fairly normal, but with the increased crime awareness from reading the blog, and therefore more blog-generated more folks writing in, it seems unusually prominent? Does spring always bring more of this type of activity? I know that police statistics seem to be rather vague at times, but a little more info. would be helpful.

  • Ken May 1, 2008 (2:07 pm)

    I had a younger guy with spiked hair about 3 pm. Same company name.

    He might even have been legit. But he told me three lies about the neighborhood within 30 seconds.

    I told him he had 1 min to get off my porch or I would let the 5 dogs I was feeding toy with him.

    BTW his lies were the same as the ADT salesman’s so I assume he is “legit”

    here is a google cache for a job listing with “icon security” targeting Seattle

    Now I know damn well this clown did not know anything about the neighborhood but had been handed a target list and a script to memorize.

    I really do toy with the scammers and take pictures of them, but I have no patience with fearmongers especially with those selling “security” products based on ones proximity to a SHA rental housing block.

    A salesman would want the opportunity to criticize their competitors setup or to show you how your back door is not secure.

    No ones back door is “secure”. Get over it. Most of the new town homes at highpoint don’t even HAVE a back door. Good luck in case of fire.

    BTW some of the paranoid who bought at highpoint are selling and the signs say “price reduced” :)

    There is a reason this neighborhood stays 88% Dem, it might be because we are not afraid of non white people.

  • Rick May 1, 2008 (2:09 pm)

    Found them on the internet, it’s Icon Home Security dot com. In their FAQ:

    Q: Why do you send people door to door?
    A: Selling door to door gives us options that regular advertising does not. Because we are not spending a large amount on marketing, we are able to offer better promotions and additional free equipment to our customers.

    Also, it freaks people out and makes them think about getting a security system, maybe?

  • changingtimes May 1, 2008 (4:18 pm)

    whats with the non-white people comment ken??

  • Bob Loblaw May 1, 2008 (5:46 pm)

    Looks like the Loblaws had a visit from the “Garlic Jim’s” door hanger people today. I hope they come back soon since we often work from home, and both our neighbors do each day. Oh, and the one retired guy near us really loves to talk about firing at people in our alley! Also, we have a dog, and a security system. Should be a good time for them.

  • Jaime Gummer May 1, 2008 (7:53 pm)

    Does anyone know……..Do all people coming to your door need a solicitor’s license from the City of Seattle? I mean, barring the Girl Scouts and the neighbor’s kids selling random stuff for school….is it against the SMC for people to knock on your door selling anything without a license?

  • pigeonmom May 1, 2008 (8:57 pm)

    The “30ish” looking guy just POUNDED on my door a few minutes ago. I opened up the peekhole and told him
    “no thanks” before he had a chance to speak.
    Kind of an odd time to come, it’s just about dark and some folks may be getting ready for bed.

  • Steve May 1, 2008 (9:31 pm)

    It would be great if neighbors could start taking pictures of people who come to the door. Does anyone have any photos? Is it legal to take pictures of people who are knocking on your door? I would be very afraid to come back or break in if someone took my picture…

  • WSB May 1, 2008 (10:15 pm)

    It’s not illegal for people to knock on your door.
    If they try to sell you something, it’s illegal if they don’t have a license. I will go look up the codes again; we’ve linked them here before. Re: taking pictures of people on your doorstep, yes.

  • Jerald May 2, 2008 (6:17 am)

    Girl Scouts and Camp Fire kids actually do have licenses, represented by a button they are required to wear.

  • Christopher Boffoli May 2, 2008 (8:02 am)

    If someone is standing on property that you own or rent, or if they are on public property where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy, you are absolutely entitled to photograph them.

  • k2 May 2, 2008 (8:55 am)

    He came to my place too, I live on 26th south of brandon…
    he asked if I had a security system, I said yes I do: 2 pitbulls and a 9mm glock.

    That was the end of the conversation.

  • Kat May 2, 2008 (9:51 am)

    I agree, changingtimes. Ken, I’m not clear how your comment regarding democratic party affiliation and “we are not afraid of non white people” is germane to the topic being discussed. Am I missing something?

  • Chris May 2, 2008 (11:41 am)

    These people are annoying but legit, the company is out of Utah, they’ve been knocking on doors all around my block 102nd 19th SW (White Center).

  • changingtimes May 2, 2008 (4:20 pm)

    ha ha ha k2 that is funny!

  • snowlion May 3, 2008 (10:23 am)

    I work for HomeGuard Security, and this is just creepy. We have had customer complaints of other companies doing this, and the people going door-to-door have been reported as either very high pressure, or as if they had no idea what they were talking about. We have told our customers to call the police when these incidents occur. We initially thought it was smaller companies attempting to hijack our customers, but there were a bunch of reports that there were “representatives” from Brinks and ADT as well. As far as I know, no security company acts like this. We receive our customers based off word of mouth from other customers, or advertising that we do, and people call in and request our services. We do not solicit. I find this behavior extremely suspicious, website or no. I can tell you that it seems to increase in the summer. If it is done to scare people into buying their product, I find that highly unethical and personally would never choose to go with a company that did that. :/

  • Larchmont Heights May 20, 2008 (9:16 pm)

    This “company” is also hitting Tacoma now. He claimed that he spoke with the guy that lives next door just before coming to my house. He kept asking me if I had a security system. I told him yes because that’s the truth. He asked me if it was wireless and I told him no. I also added the fact that all of the wiring for my alarm is internal in order to prevent the same thing he attempted to “scare” me with, wire cutting. He also asked if my system was wired in with fire and ambulance so of course I told him that it was. I let him know that all of my windows and doors are triggered, I have motion sensors and that I have a breakage sensor. I wonder, will he try to break in later so I can have a reason to use my service?

  • Jonathan Marler June 24, 2008 (8:18 pm)

    My name is Johnny and this summer I started working for Icon security. I just want to let you guys know that Icon is a legitimate company. It’s mostly staffed by guy’s in their 20s trying to pay for college. It’s a really hard job because you’ve got to go door to door talking to people who slam the door in your face and yell at you before they even listen to what your doing.
    I live in the tri-cities in Washington but I’m working in Indianapolis just for the summer. You guys might think it’s funny to think up mean ways to get us off your porch and tell us you’ll sick your dogs on us but how do you think that makes us feel? I’ve taken so much rejection and most of the time I don’t even have to say anything. We really are offering people a good deal but most of you won’t even give us a chance. You’ve already rejected us before we’ve said a word. If you guys are trying to break our spirits you’re doing a great job. You guys should be proud of yourselves, you’ve taken our motivation to try and make something of ourselves by gaining valuable sales and social experience while trying to pay for our education at the same time and crushed it. We’re offering a really good deal on a security system that will protect your families and your unwillingness to listen for 15 seconds is astounding. My favorite people to talk to are the ones who will listen for 15 seconds and then politely tell me the truth that they don’t want the system because they don’t want another bill. Remember we’ve been trained to listen to what you say and respond to help you get the system. If you’re just lying to get us off your porch both of us will get frustrated because we’re trying to solve a problem you told us that isn’t even true.
    Most people don’t last in this job more than a month. My office started out with over 40 guys. Now we have 18. The average person living in middle class society can’t do this job, they aren’t motivated enough. The people who work here for the whole summer are the ones who become business owners and CEOs. So next time you see someone knocking on your door try not to be so mean. In reality they’re probably offering you a good deal and it won’t hurt to listen to what they’re doing.

Sorry, comment time is over.