Quick file: magazine solicitors at the door this afternoon

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by sidheshooter, Jun 26, 2009.

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  1. sidheshooter

    sidheshooter Member

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    Answered a knock at the door to find two young females (17-20 or so?) who were selling magazine subscriptions–supposedly to earn money for cosmetology school, with the top seller alledgedly winning a contest to travel to an Island or something. Uh, yeah sure... but I don't mind listening to a pitch; heck, earlier in the day I let my car get soaped and sprayed by a valley youth group raising bucks for something or other.

    I don't think anyone here needs much detail; I will say though (after the pre-entry interview) that one of them immediately asked to use the bathroom ("Nah, let's just have a seat right here and get on with your presentation, it shouldn't take that long").

    Suffice to say that my requests for info on the parent company were not met with satisfactory answers, so that was that. I did get to pry a bit about their backgrounds, what they hoped to get out of their "sales" careers, etc.

    Once I politely gave them the boot, I took a quick trip to google where I found that this is an incredibly common scam and, as I sort of feared/gut hunched, the young crews are sadly part of the victim side of the equation.

    Make no mistake, paranoid that I am, I was also checking to see if there was any web documentation correlating "magazine sales" with casing the joint, but it really does appear that these kids were at least telling the truth about the transient nature of their "jobs".

    I called the business line for the cops with descriptions, in the however unlikely hope that an interception might yield a van/crew leader with no permit, and maybe get these kids a wake-up call.

    I guess the reason I'm posting such a mundane non-tac happening is to a) alert any who may not have encountered this specific scam to the likelihood that the ladies may well be victim/perpetrators, and not just "perps" (though google quickly told me what they might be hoping to find in the bathroom; bottles of 'scripts in the medicine cabinet, most likely).

    As well, the benefit of having means and skills to take care of one's self also means that sometimes the more "tactically minded" person can take a little bit more from the risk side of the ledger in order to possibly be of assistance where it might not balance out for another to do so.

    This is all just one opinion on the topic from one guy, of course, I'd mostly just be open to hearing from anyone who knows more about this wide-spread racket in detail.
     
  2. rainbowbob

    rainbowbob Member

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    My $0.02 is that - regardless of the "means and skills to take care of one's self" - you don't let uninvited strangers in your home for ANY reason. No matter how young, cute, and female they may be.
     
  3. Darkninja

    Darkninja Member

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    RainbowBob - I think that at some times you can make exceptions :cool:

    However this is an interesting point you bring up, not everyone you need to worry about is a gangbanger with a crowbar.
     
  4. rainbowbob

    rainbowbob Member

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    Not if your married and want to stay that way. ;)
     
  5. RobNDenver

    RobNDenver Member

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    No strangers in my home. Ever.

    The cleaning lady - Vetted and approved
    The lawn care guy - Vetted and approved
    The last installer - (local off duty fireman) Vetted and approved
    The carpet cleaner - Vetted and approved
    The home health nurse - Vetted and approved
    The window cleaner guy - Vetted and approved.

    Everyone one of these folks came to my attention through recommendations from folks I know, or I was able to check them out from references. The girl scouts selling cookies can stand on the porch, the little-leaguer's can sell you the discount cards outside your front door. . . .


    Why would anyone let a solicitor who comes out of the blue and knocks on your door to sell you something, into your home??
     
  6. rainbowbob

    rainbowbob Member

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    My mother, who is 88 years old, grew up in an era when this was common practice. Door-to-door salesmen, the ice-man, the coal-man, the rag-man, etc were coming and going all the time.

    She is neither foolish or senile - but it has taken several lectures following several sketchy people coming to her door (that she opened to them!) to convince her that is no longer is a safe practice.
     
  7. SHusky57

    SHusky57 Member

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    I don't know about that.
     
  8. Dirty Bob

    Dirty Bob Member

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    No unexpected and unknown "visitors" are allowed entry. The magazine sales crews may not be casing houses; they might just be "selling" fraudulent subscriptions that you'll never receive.

    We have a small, hinged window at head height. This allows us to conduct business with the door-to-door types without ever opening the door. The door itself is quite solid and has a dead bolt using keys on both sides, so punching out the tiny window and trying to reach through to open the door is a waste of time.

    Regards,
    Dirty Bob
     
  9. RoostRider

    RoostRider Member

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    Dirty Bob.... that same 'protection' applies to anyone trying to leave the house in a hurry... such as in the case of a fire.... I would not recommend having a lock that cannot be opened from the inside without a key....
     
  10. The Freeholder

    The Freeholder Member

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    I have 4 chairs on the front porch. One for me, 3 for the uninvited visitors. No matter who they are or how good the excuse, they don't get in the house.
     
  11. Leanwolf

    Leanwolf Member

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    You let them in your home??? :what:


    L.W.
     
  12. sidheshooter

    sidheshooter Member

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    Not a bad solution, Freeholder. Not bad at all.
    ---

    Yeah, I let them in. These situations are always fluid; I made a snap judgment because I wanted more info.

    Before I say what I am going to say next, please be aware that I am no pro operator and I am no hardcore bad-ass. I doubt that anyone here passing me on the street would ever peg me as a THR member, CCW holder, past ASLET member or whatever. Neither am I much prone to puffed-up internet posturing.

    I’m just a guy who's sort of into this stuff.

    That said, these girls were basically kids; they were at an age where they could have been my daughters. My gut quickly told me that this was a racket, yes, but furthermore my gut told me that they probably had no larger idea of what they were doing. I’d like to think that some of my questions may have raised some flags for them before they find themselves dead broke on the streets 2,500 miles from home or worse.

    Probably not, I know…

    But when the day comes that the typical "joe citizen" with a j-frame, a couple of edged weapons, a boxer/bull terrier mix and 20 years of martial arts under his belt has to hide behind locked doors because he is flat-out afraid to talk to a couple of misguided girls, then God help the country.

    Other opinions may differ, and that's fine.
     
  13. Dirty Bob

    Dirty Bob Member

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    Thanks for thinking of us and our safety. There is a key nearby, just not where it can be seen or reached by someone with their arm through the little window. A good practice that we follow is to put the key in the (locked) deadbolt while we're home, until we go to bed. None of the bedrooms rely on the front door as an exit.

    I wish more houses, though, were designed to let you speak with someone at the door without having to shout through the door or open it. In the case of, a heavy steel "screen door" with a substantial lock might be a solution. The one we had in Las Cruces, NM resisted kicking in by a large male who was attempting a home invasion.

    All my best,
    Dirty Bob
     
  14. Ric in Richmond

    Ric in Richmond Member

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    Side note keys and deadbolts.....

    Side note keys and deadbolts....

    If you are going to pull the key from a deadbolt due to adjacent glass then HANG THE KEY DOWN LOW!

    A> no one can reach it
    B> they aren't looking for it down low
    C> when you are wishing you had a key for your deadbolt as the toxic smoke fills the room from the top down and the flames have you cornered....you will be pleasantly surprised that the key is down low and accessible...instead of up there in the smoke heat and toxic gasses!!!
     
  15. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    But when the day comes that the typical "joe citizen" with a j-frame, a couple of edged weapons, a boxer/bull terrier mix and 20 years of martial arts under his belt has to hide behind locked doors because he is flat-out afraid to talk to a couple of misguided girls, then God help the country

    All well and good. So let's suppose that, while in your living room, the youngest/cutest of the two suddenly rips her blouse open down the front and starts screaming "RAPE!" while her friend hightails it, dialing 9-1-1 on her cell phone. Extortion? Just having a little fun with the old man? Who knows what the motive might be...

    God help the country, all right.

    lpl (Yeah, vivid imagination. Which is why NO females- from my neighbors' little girl on up- set foot in this house unless my wife is home.)
     
  16. sidheshooter

    sidheshooter Member

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    You got me with that one, Lee, I certainly wasn't thinking of *that* at the time...

    So, we're already at the point of no return when interacting with strangers these days.

    I may well be too old-fashioned for my own good, I suppose.

    I appreciate the input from all thus far.
     
  17. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    Dirty Bob,

    Take a look at http://www.buy.com/prod/reporter-rwv400r-reporter-intercom-wireless-alert-system/q/loc/111/90137181.html . We have one sensor down at the head of our driveway, more than 150 yards away from the house. There's another sensor at the gate where the driveway comes into the fence around the house, about 50 yards from the house.

    The system works very well, the sensor is battery powered and detects motion (IR) as well as opens a microphone to the receiver for about ten seconds when the sensor is triggered. You can hear clearly from the receiver whatever is happening in front of the sensor, and if you choose, you can clearly converse with a person standing within 50 feet or so of the sensor (if the wind isn't blowing).

    The receiver plugs in via a wall wart, and can handle up to 8 sensors IIRC. Extra sensors can be ordered- http://www.buy.com/retail/usersearchresults.asp?querytype=home&qu=pirv400r&qxt=home&display=col .

    We like it...

    lpl
     
  18. george29

    george29 Member

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  19. onlymeself

    onlymeself Member

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    No strangers come in to my house. Of course nobody wants to come to my door cuz of my 2 shar pei standing at the gate. Works for me.

    That being said I want to live at RobNDenver's house.
    Cuz I am the cleaning lady, lawn care gal, carpet cleaner, nurse, and window cleaner.
     
  20. Pyzon

    Pyzon Member

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    I'll bet if you asked permission to take a digital photo of these "door to door salesgirls" they'd beat a lot faster retreat down the driveway. In fact, I've found if you ask telemarketers for a phone number where you can call them back in a few minutes the last thing you hear is them hanging up on you.

    Yeah, I know, they're just trying to make a living and times are tough blah blah blah.....

    I've been screwed enough to last a lifetime ordering stuff that never shows up from people I don't know that work for companies that don't have phones.

    If they don't know enough to pee before they knock on your door they aren't smart enough to sell magazines anyway.
     
  21. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    Lee is correct I would not let them in either. Today the Accused is usally scared for life even if they get Cleared in Court.
     
  22. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    magazine sales guy raped an old lady round here last year....
     
  23. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    As my dog is big and makes lots of noise when someone rings the door bell,
    Most "I`m selling "this or that folks don`t ring again. Down the side walk they go, looking over their shoulder as they go. This day and age nobody gets into my house...........with out an invite that is. :)
     
  24. EdLaver

    EdLaver Member

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    whenever a solictor comes to my door I always have my xd 9 subcompact in the pocket. Hey, you never know...:cool:
     
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