You are sitting at home, and the doorbell rings, only to be greeted by someone you have never met before trying to sell your something or solicit donation.
In the county of Ventura, ALL solicitors must obey the following rules:
All solicitors that are selling or taking orders for a product must have an identification badge. The permit lasts for one year and expires at the END of the calendar year. Furthermore, the permit specifies what type of license is being issued, such as a tax driver (as shown above), street vendor, door to door solicitor, etc. This badge must be either displayed, be valid, and shown upon demand. Lastly, this type of permit has a time restriction of 9am to 5pm (standard time) or 9am to 7pm (daylight savings time). Soliciting a household outside of this range is a violation.
Often we see people soliciting non-profit organizations like churches, disaster relief, or unique causes. Since they are not selling anything, and more than likely part of a big organization, they are exempt from the badge but MUST carry a copy of the current years Thousand Oaks Business Tax Certificate. It must name the organization they are representing, and indicate the organizations non profit or religious affiliation. Different than a selling solicitor, the city does not have a time restriction for non profits or religious organizations.
So how do you protect yourself?
- If the vendor shows you their badge or certificate, LOOK at it and verify the expiration date. If it is expired, kindly tell them you are not interested, allow them to leave, and then call the Sheriff’s dispatcher at (805) 654-9511.
- If you feel the vendor is mis-representing the licensee on their permit, again kindly ask them to leave and call this dispatcher.
- NEVER allow a stranger into your house, unless you know them. You can ask them for a business card and tell them they will look more into their product and contact them directly. If it is then something you really want to pursue, call the Thousand Oaks finance division at (805) 449-2201 and ask them to verify authenticity of the permit.
- If, under any circumstances you witness questionable activity, try to get as much of a description as possible and call the dispatcher. Good identifiers that will help find a suspect are height, weight, clothing (including hats and jewelry), ethnicity if possible and any vehicle (with license plate if possible) that they have used.
- If a solicitor displays any aggressive conduct, contact the dispatcher immediately
Again the key numbers to keep in mind are:
Sheriff Dispatcher – (805) 654-9511
To be used for all emergency and non-emergency reports. This will result in a deputy being sent out.
Thousand Oaks Finance Division – (805) 449-2201
For verification of a permits authenticity and validity.