West Seattle door-to-door alerts: Raising $ to travel?

Solicitors still seem to be out in force. Two more reader reports have come in – read on:

From Steve:

At around 11:40 a.m., we had a couple of young men knock on our door and try to get us to buy magazine subscriptions as a fundraiser for an Australian trip for the UW rugby team. They wouldn’t show us ID and didn’t have any material to give us (other than a receipt if we committed to giving them money right there) so we sent them on their way. A check of the UW Rugby website doesn’t indicate that the team is planning an overseas trip and the name of the guy who did most of the talking did not appear on the team rosters we could find on the web.

I live near Andover and 44th. I called the SPD non-emergency line and will file a police report. I don’t know if they were casing but they were pretty aggressively trying to keep the conversation going. Very friendly — I didn’t feel threatened but I’m sure they could also charm money out of neighbors so I figured I should report it if it’s indeed a scam.

And from Tom:

We live in Gatewood near the Myrtle Park Reservoir. A young man came by, in his early twenties wearing a Detroit Tigers baseball cap. He claimed to be raising money for a trip to Spain by selling books that would be sent to various children’s charities. His story did not not make a lot of sense so I sent him on his way.

As noted here before, 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.

25 Replies to "West Seattle door-to-door alerts: Raising $ to travel?"

  • Jwws May 19, 2012 (7:10 pm)

    I have had about six “solicitors” knocking on our door/ringing bell over the past three days. Let the dogs bark at them, don’t answer the door and they go on their way. what is up with all this???

  • west seattlite May 19, 2012 (7:40 pm)

    There is a young black male making his way down 34th, between Andover and Dayton, right now. I gave called the police, but neighbors, be aware!

  • ArborH May 19, 2012 (7:48 pm)

    Interesting. A guy dressed in a dark suit with a blue tie just went down our street, knocking on every door. I couldn’t really hear what he was talking about over the dogs barking, but I said we’re not interested and he walked away.

  • Hoyne May 19, 2012 (7:59 pm)

    Hi neighbors – We just had the Spain trip guy stop by our house at 32nd and Webster. His story seemed odd so we, too, sent him on his way.

  • Kathy May 19, 2012 (8:00 pm)

    Had a knock on a door from someone with United States Mission – raising money for homeless people. He said he didn’t need a license to go door to door since their organization is a 501c. He was very polite. They apparently have a website:

  • HelperMonkey May 19, 2012 (8:24 pm)

    we just had a solicitor going door to door in Arbor Heights. Fast talker. youngish, wearing a suit. no badge, no ID. we didn’t even give him a chance to talk, so I have no idea what he was trying to sell.

  • Hoyne May 19, 2012 (8:39 pm)

    Update: My husband was just at Gasco on 35th and saw “our” solicitor plus a few other men get into a black Dodge Charger with dark tinted windows. Just FYI – he thought it looked like they were headed south to try another block.

  • Alki Resident May 19, 2012 (8:52 pm)

    I need to raise money to travel as well.

  • The Shadow May 19, 2012 (9:04 pm)

    I had the USMission Guy too. I’m sorry, he gave me the heebie-jeebies, and it didn’t help to see him stopping in front of each home and taking copious notes. I called the police. A few minutes later, 3 – yes – 3 patrol units were down at the apartments next to La Rustica. Don’t know if they were checking out the guy (he was going that way), but the whole setup just seemed odd.

    It’s just not the same kind of world anymore. This day and age, who needs to go doorbelling anyway? I”m going to put a sign up: “No soliciting, no exceptions. This includes Mormons/Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc. Leave a card. Otherwise, please don’t call me; I”ll find you.”

    • WSB May 19, 2012 (9:48 pm)

      If I didn’t mention this already, police have checked out the US Mission people multiple times – I heard it again on the scanner this afternoon and mentioned it on Twitter – and they are indeed a real nonprofit.

  • Norman May 19, 2012 (9:06 pm)

    I remember a easier time when we as people could afford to not worry about not answering our door. didn’t have to look over our shoulders at the person persons walking behind us.Actually slept with our windows open with out security bars on them.When the stranger knocking on your door was a kid collecting for the news paper. Or asking if you would like to have your lawn mowed for two bucks. When we had guns for hunting for food and going up to north bend to target practice for the fun of it. That’s a little different now. a time when you read about a violent crime it was any where but here. Now its every day. Some people used to call it being paranoid, now its called life. Stay safe people

  • John May 19, 2012 (9:11 pm)

    My recommendation is to always be skeptical of any unknown individual who shows up at your doorstep to sell something. Sad but necessary these days.

  • Brian May 19, 2012 (9:30 pm)

    Had a black woman with tatoo’s all over her arms in the Fauntleroy area about 6:00pm trying to sell magazine subscriptions for single mothers. She asked about dogs, and if we knew our neighbors. SPD was trying to locate her about 1/2 hour later, don’t know if they found her.

  • RobJ May 19, 2012 (10:01 pm)

    Shadow, you called the cops? Jesus…

  • Lura Ercolano May 19, 2012 (11:31 pm)

    “These days” etc ?

    Whatever golden prior age are you remembering? I remember the selling-magazine-subscriptions-to-earn-points-for-a-trip, and various other scams have been around for decades.

    Yes, sometimes they are crooks casing for burglaries. Other times they are victims themselves who have been scammed into a situation that is very hard to get away from. Sometimes I ask if there is anyone I can call for them.

  • walt May 19, 2012 (11:38 pm)

    We live @ the Charleston water tower. A young white
    male, baggy pants under 20? and his blond girl friend about same age were selling “carpet cleaning”
    services door to door. Did not seem quite right.

  • David Kerlick May 20, 2012 (4:57 am)

    SW 34th between Graham and Morgan, mid-day Monday 5/14: A pair, college-age man and woman, clean cut looking (I never trust clean cut college students) were knocking at my BACK door (I had workers in my yard) so I was surprised they had come through the yard without being invited, unless the workers told them to come back. They introduced themselves as neighbors (but weren’t really), were trying to raise money or points for a trip to Japan. I told them three times I wasn’t interested.

  • marie May 20, 2012 (7:47 am)

    We had same woman with tatoos about 4:00 yesterday in Fauntleroy neighborhood – Sent her on her way immediately. Our house was broken into on Thursday morning, and we believe someone/s been casing the neighborhood.

  • mike May 20, 2012 (11:37 am)

    Yesterday evening a young man came to my door (3700 34th) and said he was trying to raise money via donations for his tuition at South Seattle Community College. He indicated that this was a school sponsored fund drive. He had no student ID or anything from the college. He did offer a receipt book…….no name or address just a blank receipt book. He said most people had given him cash, and had let me see some cash when he showed me the receipt book. As he was speaking with me he seemed very interested in what was IN my house. I wish I had called the police and had them check him out. He left my house and block after I started questioning him about school…….
    I have sent a email to UDUB Rugby Club about the post for fund raising, as a former coach and supporter for the Club I suspect this is a scam. I’ll post when I hear back.
    Donations to the Rugby Endowment and Development Fund:
    There are also two funds setup through the University of Washington Foundation that support the Husky Rugby Club.

    To donate, go to this website:

  • Jim P. May 20, 2012 (12:12 pm)

    With the warmer weather, parasites of all sorts become more active.

    Whether they are selling Jesus or “prime steaks”, they seek to waste my time and thus I give them none.

  • anotherwsmom May 20, 2012 (8:38 pm)

    Someone came by tonight and said he was raising money for basketball at Sealth. Hmm..isn’t basketball over? Young, African American Male. This is in High Point.

  • Megan May 21, 2012 (11:21 am)

    34th and Graham: A few days ago, the same “UW Students” raising money for a trip to Japan came to my door. Tried to sell me magazines and when I said I didn’t want more trash in the recycle bin, she said I could sponsor a child at Seattle Children’s Hospital for their reading program. I asked how much, she said “if your really awesome, and want to support 18 kids, it’s 480.” I said, “480 dollars?”. Immediately I said I wasn’t interested and had to say no 4 more times to get them off my porch. She used cuss words and kept saying “don’t shoot the messenger” “I didn’t poop on your porch”. Very unprofessional and did not sound like UW students trying to make a good impression to raise money for a good cause. Seattle Children’s would not support this type of soliciting either. Beware.

  • bob May 21, 2012 (1:43 pm)

    I am getting kids “practicing” their sales pitch to be professionals coming to our door. They start by saying they are not looking for donations the speech does get around to asking for one.
    I tell them I am unemployed and have no money, that gets rid of them. Actually I am retired.
    One even had the nerve to ask how I could own my kind of car being unemployed. Pretty nervy if you ask me. I like the “no solicitation” sign for the house idea.

  • The Shadow May 21, 2012 (2:14 pm)

    @Rob J. Yes, I did. As I said, when you see a guy taking notes in front of every house, and he’s doorbelling for a charity you’ve never heard of, AND you had a (still unsolved) murder a few doors down from you, hell yeah, you’re going to call the police and report suspicious activity. It’s called looking out for yourself and your neighbors, and not taking a ‘it’s none of my business’ attitude.

    What would you have done, go all George Zimmerman on him?

    Times have changed, and there just no reason to go door-to-door anymore to sell stuff or solicit donations.

  • Beth May 22, 2012 (6:30 am)

    I had a young lady come to my door (Admiral area) a couple weeks ago selling magazines to collect points so that she could travel. She said she was a neighbor, but I had never seen her before. The really strange part was that she asked what I did for a living. When I replied that I am a public school teacher, she rattled off a number of points she could earn from selling to me. Didn’t make much sense. Glad I kept saying no.

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