DeLand Police Department
Public Information Announcement
January 16, 2013
Please see the following complaint regarding a magazine solicitor made by one of our residents in the Saddle Brook subdivision.
Last week, on Friday (January 11), a young man was going through the Saddle Brook Community representing a company called Self Starters. He was selling magazines and said that with sales, he earned points for an educational goal (and also a percentage of the total sale if the magazine subscription purchase was paid for in cash). He was well spoken and apparently had been coached/trained on his specific presentation. He used a number of public relations pitches in his presentation.
Although I hate to be a skeptic, I really felt that this was a scam. After 39 years as an educator, I was impressed with his delivery but kept getting certain vibes that he was not legitimate. I later Googled the "Self Starters" Company and found a mixed response on Internet. Some articles said the company was a scam; other articles said it was a legitimate company set up to help young people.
This afternoon, another young man was going through the neighborhood dressed exactly the same way (as the young man on Friday). I did not get to the door before he had departed, but I observed him going to two of my neighbors' houses.
Do you have any information about Self Starters or have you had any recent complaints?
Sincerely, Ann Duff
A special thank you to Ann for bringing this to our attention.
Response Community Services Office: This agency has received no known complaints regarding this company, but did find several complaints listed from the B&B regarding this company. Several web sites listed this company as a legitimate company and then some stated that it was nothing more than a rip-off. I would most probably err on the side of caution and not do any type business with what I call cold call sales.
I would recommend that residents please call the non-emergency number (386) 734-1711 and report if there are solicitors in the area. I believe that we need to be aware of any solicitors operating in the city of DeLand and to verify their identity, and that they have a valid City of DeLand solicitor’s permit. Typically we find that solicitors operating in the city of DeLand, do not have a valid city permit and we typically have an option to cite them for violation of the ordinance
I feel the bottom line is to err on the side of caution and not deal with these type of cold sale calls and report it to the police department:
What to do if a solicitor is in the area:
· If a solicitor is at your door, always acknowledge that you are home and not interested. That lets the solicitor know someone is home and watching them. In a few recent cases in DeLand and the County, solicitors have knocked at the door and after not getting a answer, gone around to a back area of the house and forcibly entered.
· If you do decide to open your door and speak with the solicitor, ask them if they have a city of DeLand Solicitors permit. City Ordinances state that each solicitor selling goods or services in the city must have a valid solicitor’s permit. A county of Volusia permit will not suffice.
Not for profit groups such as religious groups, girl scouts/boys scouts are exempt from the ordinance.
· Be careful of allowing people into your home. Criminals work hard to gain your confidence to get inside your home. In several cases over the years, criminals posing as solicitors have committed diversionary crimes such as stealing jewelry and prescription medications.
· Always call the police if solicitors are in the area, (386) 734-1711. Police officers will verify the solicitor’s permit and identity and if a ordinance violation is found, a Notice to Appear may be issued.
Some Common Scams being used in Central Florida at this time:
· Home Repair Scams
· Magazines Sales
· Alarm systems Sales
· Tree work
Always practice the rule of “If it’s sounds too good to be true, it is probably a scam”
DeLand Police Department
Community Services Unit
219 W. Howry Ave DeLand, FL 32720
(386) 734-1711 Main/Dispatch
(386) 740-5885 Community Services Office