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The easiest way to take from you still seems to be the door to door approach. 




More scams to tell you about. 


HBNW has heard of many possible scams this past week.  We had three residents e-mail us regarding the possible Verizon scam.  Each resident had talked to the alleged representatives from Verizon. 


In the past few days we have heard of a person selling "scrip" and did get a $95.00 check from a resident.  This resident was unsure and checked on the company via the Internet.  They did cancel the check and called their Block Captain.


Another is this e-mail:


"Yesterday two men in orange jump suits came to my door asking if I had a sewer manhole in my backyard. They wanted to look. My son answered the door and told them that I didn't and they could not look in my yard. My son said that they didn't introduce themselves and there was no city truck outside. They left on foot".


And yet another:

"I just called in a report related to the Verizon scam and a HBPD officer told me that there is another current scam that is playing our big time in surrounding neighborhoods. He called it "the UPS" scam. Apparently UPS uniforms are easy to come by, so criminals are donning the uniform and ringing doorbells.  The scam is that they say they have a COD (while waiving a UPS package or envelope) for one of the victim's neighbors and would the vic be willing to pay the COD so the fake UPS deliveryman can leave the package for the neighbor. Evidently unwitting victims have turned over up to $22 to these fake delivery guys, who actually do leave fake packages at the neighbors homes in plain sight of the vic. When the neighbor comes home and the victim tries to collect the COD that they surrendered to the crook, they find out they were scammed".


Why do we make such a big deal out of solicitors?

HBNW encourages that you call because it is a possible "set-up" for a CRIME OF OPPORTUNITY. If the solicitor is legitimate, they will obtain a PERMIT from the City Manager's Office (signed by Steve Burrell) and it will have the HB logo on it. It will NOT BE a letter from the City of Los Angeles or any other city with their logo on it, ever.

Why should I call?

1. It is not legal without the PERMIT FROM HB.

2. You could be a victim of a scam to take your possessions that are near your front door.  The solicitor could knock to see if you are home or not.  Your check could be used in Identity Theft as your routing number and checking account number at the bottom of the check could be used fraudulently and/or you could pay for an item that you will never receive.

3. You could be 'set up' for a later crime to burglarize your home when you are not home or worse, the solicitor could force themselves in to your home!

What should I do?

Ask them to see the HB Permit. When they give you the many reasons why they do not have it, just politely tell them that you are a member of HB Neighborhood Watch and that you are aware that they must have it.


Ask them to come back when they do have it and you would be happy to support a legitimate cause.


Take note of their clothing and physical description and which direction you saw them traveling in last. Call the HB police dispatch number at 310-524-2750 and ask for an officer to approach the solicitor.

Why do I need to do all of this?

Peace of mind that you or one of your neighbors will not become a victim. Send the strong message to solicitors that it is NOT OK to take your hard earned money preying on you and our residents illegally!

What will happen to the solicitor?

If the police officer should locate the solicitor, they will approach and ask for identification and a permit. They will advise of the city permit requirement. The officer could cite the person or at the very least write up a FIELD IDENTIFICATION CARD. This would be looked at if a crime should happen in the area as this person would be their first suspect.


Background on the solicitor and the people that the solicitor is working for that day:


They often recruit these young adults and take them from their home town (often from another state) and promise them a better way of life if they sell for them.  The recruiter puts them up in cheap room and board and gives them little money.  In most cases, this is better than the life they had.

The majority of the solicitors do not carry an ID.  They hope that the officer will just warn them as they are told that the officer will not want to take the time to take them to the station for a fingerprint check.  If an officer gives them a citation for soliciting without a City of Hermosa Beach Permit, then it is given to the individual and makes no dent toward the "business" that their employers are involved in.  So basically, you are never causing any justice to the "higher up" in the scam.  They are protected as they distance themselves from the solicitor.

They are often brought in by a van and left in your neighborhoods for several hours to get as many subscriptions or candy sales as possible.  They will often use your first name (that which you have told them in their quick introduction) and go to the door of your neighbor and say that "John, next door told me that you would buy from me like he did".  This is done to gain the neighbors confidence that they are "friendly" and "you can depend on them" because your friendly neighbor bought from me just a minute ago.  Identity Theft is a big business and you just provided them the opportunity to abuse your checking account number and bank routing number on the personal check that you have willingly handed them to pay for that high-priced magazine subscription. 

They will often say that they are "trying to make an honest living", "trying to earn a trip for their education" or "just a student trying to earn money for camp/band/you name it, they will say it". 


Ask them right away for a City of Hermosa Beach Permit.  When asked, nearly every one of them will tell you that their manager has a copy of the permits for all of the cities that they work in.  We suggest you calmly advise them that you are a member of the HBNW program and that you know that they must carry a permit from HB on their person.  Let them know that when they provide this paperwork to you will be more than happy to see their product.  Until then, you cannot purchase their product as they are illegally soliciting in Hermosa Beach (Legitimate vendors will go to City Hall and apply for a City Permit to solicit sales from door to door.  People who want to cause you harm will not as they are criminals).  The solicitor will reluctantly leave as the wind has been taken from their sales pitch.  They will most likely leave with an attitude.  Please close your door and call the HBPD dispatch number 310-524-2750 and report it.  Tell the operator what they look like and their direction of travel.   



5.64. 010 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

"Individual" means only a natural person.

"Person" means and includes any natural person, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association, society, organization, church congregation, assembly or league and shall include any receiver, trustee, assignee, agent, employee or other similar representative thereof.

"Solicit" or "solicitation" shall mean the selling or offering for sale of any property, real or personal, tangible or intangible, whether of value or not, including but not limited to goods, books, pamphlets, tickets, rights to admission to any amusement, show, entertainment, lecture or other enterprise not regularly carried on for private profit or gain by the person for or by whom the solicitation is being made at a fixed place of business within the city, publications or brochures. This section shall apply to any solicitation conducted door to door, in any place of public accommodation, in any place of business open to the public generally on the city streets and sidewalks, in the public parks, or in any public place, and conducted by:

  • Oral or written request; or
  • The local distribution, circulation, posting or publishing of any handbill, written advertisement or other local publication. (Prior code 17-29.1)

5.64. 020 Business license required.

No person, directly or indirectly, shall make any solicitation or authorize any other person to make any solicitation within the city until such person shall have first obtained a business license from the city as provided in this chapter. (Prior code 17-29.2).64. 030

Limitations on manner of solicitations.

No person to whom a registration statement is issued pursuant to this section or any of its employees, agents or solicitors shall:

A. Solicit between the hours of seven p.m. and nine a.m.;

B. Solicit at any house, apartment or other dwelling or any business premises to which is affixed a sign indicating "No Solicitors" or similar indication that no solicitation contact is desired by the occupant thereof;

C. Persistently and importunately request any business from any member of the public after such member of the public expresses the desire not to contribute;

D. Intentionally and deliberately obstruct the free movement of any person on any street, sidewalk or other public place or any place open to the public generally. (Prior code 17-29.3)