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Solicitors » Solicitor safety tips

Solicitor safety tips

Never open the door to someone you do not know. If you feel uneasy, don’t open the door. Call your 911 if a solicitor or any stranger is aggressive or asks to enter your home. Never feel obligated to greet an unfamiliar person knocking at your door.

Here are several safety tips:

  • Teach your children what to do if they are alone and someone comes to the home or is looking in windows.
  • If solicitors try to approach you while you are outside, do not let them approach. Say, “No thank you,” walk back into your house and close and lock your door. A conversation only encourages a solicitor.
  • If the solicitor does not go peaceably on their away, call the police for assistance. Provide a description of the solicitor and what direction they were headed.
  • Watch where the solicitor goes next and notice what they do. Look for suspicious behavior such as looking in car windows, testing doors for locks, or entering back yards.
  • Follow identity theft prevention guidelines by never giving your credit card information or a check to anyone who solicits you that you do not know. It is often very difficult to determine if someone is legitimately representing a real organization or charity.
  • Always keep doors and windows locked. Storm doors or security doors are helpful when dealing with solicitors because you can see and speak safely through the door.
  • Residents can put a “no solicitors” sign on their door to help keep solicitors away.
  • 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.
  • If you’ve already purchased something from a solicitor, and have paid by check and no longer feel comfortable with the transaction, cancel the check as soon as possible.
  • Do not believe stories such as “I live in your neighborhood”, or “My car is broken down just around the corner”, etc. 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 them a tow truck.
  • At no time should you let any of these people in your house, especially if they ask to use the phone.
  • Do not hire anyone who comes to your door offering to clean your house, do home improvements, etc. and definitely do not give them any money before they do any work!
  • Ignore the knock on the door, you do not know them and do not really know their intentions.

Use good judgement and understand that current sales and marketing trends lean towards paper mailings, social media, email, text messages, trade expos, and word of mouth to sell goods and services.

The Village requires solicitors to register and obtain a permit under Ordinances 8-9-1 through 8-9-10. 

Please take note of the following sections:     

8-9-3: UNINVITED SOLICITING PROHIBITED:

No person shall engage in solicitation upon any premises or in any dwelling house, apartment or other residence located thereon within the village after having been asked by the owner or occupant thereof to leave such premises or residence, nor shall any person engage in solicitation upon any premises or in any dwelling house, apartment or other residence located thereon if such premises or dwelling building is posted against solicitation by means of a notice prominently displayed, upon which is printed the legend:

     "NO SOLICITOR" or "NO SOLICITORS INVITED" or "NO TRESPASSING"

 which notice is posted or exhibited at or near the main entrance to the premises or on or near the main door to any dwelling or residence thereon or any point of approach of entry thereto. (Ord. 2473, 2-10-1992; amd. Ord. 2668, 2-12-1996)

8-9-4: TIME LIMIT ON SOLICITATION AND CERTAIN EXCEPTED ACTIVITIES:

It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in any of the solicitation activities defined in section 8-9-1 of this chapter or in any of the excepted activities listed in subsection 8-9-2A of this chapter at any time prior to nine o'clock A.M. or after eight o'clock P.M. local time Monday through Friday or Saturday, prior to nine o'clock A.M. or after five o'clock P.M. at any time on a Sunday or on a state or national holiday. (Ord. 3414, 4-9-2012)

8-9-10: PERMIT FEES:

Any organization eligible to conduct solicitation activities within the corporate limits of River Forest shall pay a permit fee of one hundred dollars per twelve-month period, which will include the fee for the requestor's background check. Each subsequent solicitor of an organization (maximum of eight) will be charged a background check fee of twenty-five dollars per solicitor. (Ord. 3414, 4-9-2012)

Please contact Crime Prevention Officer Glen Czernik at 708-366-7125 if you have any questions. 

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