The Seal Beach Police Department would like to remind the community to be cautious of door-to-door solicitations.
Although not all door-to-door solicitations may be SCAMS, the Seal Beach Police Department would like to remind the community of the following tips when dealing with solicitors:
- All door-to-door solicitors require a City of Seal Beach business license.
- Always research the company with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) before writing a check or providing your credit card to any solicitor. This can be done for free at www.bbb.org.
- Door-to-door solicitors have been linked to residential burglaries and thefts. If a solicitor knocks on the door and there appears to be nobody home, this may provide an opportunity for a solicitor to steal from your home or vehicle. These solicitors may pose as Tree Trimmers, Magazine Salespersons, Gardeners, Carpet Cleaning Services, Florists, or other similar services.
It should be clear that the Seal Beach Police Department is not categorizing any one group or type of service as engaging in criminal conduct. Unfortunately, criminals have assumed these professions as opportunities to walk neighborhoods relatively unnoticed.
The Better Business Bureau has issued several warnings against door-to-door magazine sales crews that have been scamming consumers across the country. “Because sales representatives are typically high school or college-age, victims readily believe the potentially fictitious sales pitch and often pay several hundred dollars for the subscriptions by personal check given directly to the sales reps,” said Steve Cox, BBB spokesperson. These scams include selling magazine subscriptions to benefit troops in Iraq, to sponsor their athletic team at their school or to pay for some other expense. Many victims have faced hostile salespeople when refusing to purchase.
The Seal Beach Police Department is asking that anyone who is solicited by a door-to-door solicitor or sees a door–to-door solicitor in your neighborhood to immediately call the Seal Beach Police Department non-emergency dispatch center at 562-594-7232 to report this activity.
In an effort to help combat these types of incidents, the Seal Beach Police Department encourages both the residential and business communities of Seal Beach to participate in the recently launched pilot program, Neighbor 4 Neighbor (N4N). Based on the “Neighborhood Watch” model, neighbors band together, communicate, share and prepare for disasters as well as monitor the quality of life issues that affect our community. Whether it’s during a time of emergency or acting as the eyes and ears of the Seal Beach Police Department, your Neighbor will be there to help!
To become involved in Neighbor 4 Neighbor or to start a Neighbor 4 Neighbor program on your block and in your neighborhood, please contact Sergeant Steve Bowles at Sbowles@sealbeachca.gov or 562.799.4100 ext. 1160.
File photo by C.E.H. Wiedel of a Seal Beach Police Department vehicle.
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