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Safety tips for dealing with door-to-door solicitors

Beware of scammers

Post Date:01/26/2017 3:15 PM

The doorbell rings, you answer and, by doing so, unknowingly walk into a sales pitch.

Every homeowner knows what it’s like to deal with door-to-door salespeople. With a Township Solicitor’s Permit, solicitors may legally go door to door in West Chester between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. seven days a week. While typically these solicitors are innocuous and play by the rules, some people will pose as legitimate solicitors in order to scam, take advantage of, or do harm to residents.

Scammers will usually target the elderly, typically offering to perform maintenance or do yard work. They use pressure tactics to push consumers into making a quick decision regarding their services in exchange for a “good deal,” but the work is often never completed or poorly done.  

Before working with a solicitor, be aware of these safety tips from the West Chester Police Department:

Secure your home: Aside from the front door, make sure all other entry points of your home are secured. A known tactic of some scammers is to distract the person who answers the door so that an accomplice can get inside. Close and lock all windows and doors, including the garage door.  

 Vendor license 1 - FB

Ask for ID:  In West Chester, solicitors must receive permission in the form of a permit from the West Chester Police Department. Township Solicitor’s Permits (example pictured right) will show the name and picture of the solicitor, their business name and a permit expiration date. Solicitors are required to wear permits at all times.

Don’t allow entry: Another trick solicitors may use to get inside your home is to offer a free appraisal or inspection. Do not allow strangers into your home for any reason. All criminal trespassing laws still apply to registered solicitors.

Buyer beware: Don’t take solicitors at their word. For your protection, ask solicitors to put everything in writing. Instead of making a quick decision, tell solicitors you want time to review their services. Do your research on solicitors’ reputations and consult someone you trust, or the police, if you’re unsure. 

Know your rights: Per the Ohio Revised Code (1345.21), solicitors must provide a three day cancellation form, which gives consumers three business days to cancel contracts or orders for the sale of most goods sold outside the seller’s regular place of business. This applies to door-to-door sales.

If you have questions, concerns or feel uncomfortable about the behavior of a solicitor in West Chester, do not hesitate to contact the police department at 513-777-2231 or, in an emergency, call 911.

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