It’s that time of the year, when door-to-door solicitations begin to occur more frequently. School fundraisers, Girl Scout cookie sales, and youth sports group fundraisers are just a few of the more common neighborhood solicitations.But how do you know when you should or shouldn’t answer the door? And what’s legitimate or not?The City of Arlington Police Department offers these tips:
- If you don’t feel comfortable or don’t want to answer the door, then don’t. Tell them you are not interested through the door.
- If you are unsure if a solicitor is legitimate, ask for identification verifying that they are employed by the company they claim to work for. If they don’t have any I.D., don’t give them any money and tell them to leave.
- Ask to see a solicitor’s license. City ordinance requires a license for persons engaging in door-to-door selling. The license should be carried by the salesperson and shall be submitted to any police officer or citizen for examination upon request. Police Records handles the application process and issues the license.
- Door-to-door selling is prohibited, by City ordinance, after 8pm unless there is a prior invitation from the occupant of said private residence.
- If a solicitor refuses to leave after being asked to, or becomes irate, shut the door. If they still don’t leave, call 911.
- If you don’t feel comfortable giving the solicitor any money DON’T! Do not let anyone “guilt” you into giving them money or buying their product.
- Do not believe stories such as “I live in your neighborhood”, or “My car is broken down just around the corner.” If you don’t recognize this person as one of your neighbors, they’re probably not. If their car is truly broken down, offer to call 911 for them.
- At no time should you let any of these people in your house! Not even to use the phone.
It’s important to listen to your “gut feeling” and don’t do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. Door-to-door solicitation is not against the law as long as solicitors follow the law and City ordinances.Residents who don’t want any type of solicitation on their property are encouraged to post a “No Soliciting” sign near the doorbell or in plain sight at the front door to indicate that solicitations are not welcome.And remember; when in doubt always call 9-1-1.