Door-to-Door Solicitorsupdated: Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Every year, the St. Louis Park Police Department responds to numerous calls regarding door-to-door solicitors. All solicitors including non-profit organizations are required to register with the city. There are many legitimate organizations that solicit door-to-door, either to sell products or services or to promote a religious, political, or charitable cause. However, there are also a growing number of individuals who illegally solicit with the purpose of committing fraud.
If a solicitor knocks at your door, that person must display a city-issued ID card that contains their photo, name, company, ID number and expiration date before they even start their "pitch". Be aware that the average con-artist will have many reasons why he/she does not have a solicitor ID to show you. Remember that there is no "legal" reason not to have it. The only exemption for not having a solicitor ID is a city resident canvassing his or her neighborhood from house to house for contributions or support for any charitable, religious, civic, educational, philanthropic, social service, or welfare organization. You should also be aware that the the St. Louis Park Police Department does not solicit door-to-door for funds.
First and most importantly, IF you feel uncomfortable opening your door to a solicitor for any reason, DON’T.
- A solicitor should not knock or ring your doorbell for the purpose of selling a product or service if the property is posted with a "No Solicitors" sign. You may obtain a sign from the police department or download one here.
- A solicitor must leave when asked by the homeowner or apartment dweller.
- A solicitor cannot make any statements that misrepresent the activity for which they have been authorized by their certificate of registration to solicit.
A person may be a fraudulent solicitor if he/she:
- Is out of compliance with the municipal code (lacks a city-issued ID).
- Behaves aggressively, acts threatening, tries to make you feel guilty for not wanting to buy what he/she is selling.
- Pressures you for an immediate decision and demands cash only.
- Pressures you into signing a contract on the spot. If you are signing a contract, READ THE CONTRACT THOROUGHLY.
- Refuses to supply paperwork to substantiate what he/she claims to be selling or to give a contact phone number and address for whom they claim to work.
- Asks for bank account or social security numbers.
- Attempts to make entry into your home (jiggles your door handle if no one answers). Tries to peer into your home through an open window or door to look at your valuables.
Remember: IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS!
***While the city does require solicitors, peddlers or transient merchants to carry a city-issued ID card, the city does not endorse any of these companies or the products they sell. It is up to you the buyer to beware of the product you support or purchase from any of these companies.
If you suspect that a solicitor is not legitimate, or the solicitor is acting in an aggressive manner, please contact the St. Louis Park Police Department by dialing 9-1-1.
Please see Section 8-571 of the city's code by clicking here for complete information on code related to solicitors in St. Louis Park.
If you are a peddler or solicitor, click here for the license application.
For more information, call St. Louis Park Police Department's Community Outreach Unit at (952) 924-2661 or firstname.lastname@example.org.