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Solicitors knew our kid's names and ages!

Original post made by MainStreetDiva on May 27, 2011

Today (5/27) two young men came around in Vintage Hills, soliciting college prep software. They stopped at many homes on our block, and somehow knew resident's names, kid's names, how many kids they have, and what grades the kids are in! They also got pushy, trying to come inside.

My main concern is how they got ahold of so much personal information.

They were driving around in a reddish sedan. Unfortunately, no-one was able to gather any information as to what business or organization they're with.

Beware!

Comments (28)

Posted by ck, a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on May 27, 2011 at 4:10 pm

They came around the schools by Valley View yesterday AND the day before as well. Ignored my "No Soliciting" sign both days. (The first day I didn't answer because I generally don't when I am home alone.)

They get the info from your neighbors by asking "Can you help me by telling me which of your neighbors have school aged kids so I don't bother the ones who don't?" I agree, the guy who made it to my door was pushy and kept talking even after I said "I'm not interested" no less than 4 times. He also tried to come into my home. Same guys and car as in your photo.


Posted by Mellow Fellow, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm

The solicitors in Vintage Hills has gotten outrageous. Every other day, without fail, a knock at the door and a sales pitch that a NO will not stop. It's getting tiring. yesterday, I stood inside the door and told the guy I wasn't interested. He insisted on continuing his pitch and was "P*ssed" when I wouldn't open his door. He threw the flyer at the door and steamed off. There's gotta be something we can do.


Posted by MainStreetDiva, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 27, 2011 at 5:05 pm

MainStreetDiva is a registered user.

Hmmm. Maybe I'll try answering the door with my camera ready next time, snapping the photo just as I open the door, then before they can start their schpiel asking them for the full name and address...?

They ignore my "No Solicitors" sign too.


Posted by home alone, a resident of Birdland
on May 27, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Call the cops and report it. I believe solicitors are supposed to have a permit.


Posted by MainStreetDiva, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm

MainStreetDiva is a registered user.

home alone: I wish we had gotten enough information to do just that. They didn't ring our bell, as we don't have high-school aged kids. I believe one of our neighbors has already called PPD, to alert them.


Posted by Arroyo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 28, 2011 at 9:01 am

The information about your family may not have been provided by a neighbor.

It is disturbing when you become aware of the information that is available to anybody who knows how to mine the internet.

Unfortunately, your real estate holdings, past legal entanglements, employer's name, marriage(s), childrens names, birthdates, etc. are fairly easy for a skilled researcher to find.


Posted by tango, a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on May 28, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Get a big dog. Works every time. I don't let them know she is a pussy cat. Have a solid door with a good peep hole. Try not to let them know that you're peeping at them. Go quietly to the phone and call the none emergency number and explain what is going on. Maybe it would be a good idea if that number was taped to the inside of door.


Posted by Mike, a resident of Highland Oaks
on May 29, 2011 at 4:23 pm

I would report this to the police.

While personal information can come from any number of sources, the bells start ringing when that information is cross referenced for siblings.

An enterprising individual could spend incredible amounts of time combing through information and connecting the dots, but I think I would look for a single source that would include the information to begin with.


Posted by perry, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on May 29, 2011 at 10:00 pm

These guys (they looked Asian) came to my house too. I had just gotten back from 2 semesters of college, so they understood that I was not interested in their program. They didn't know my name. They're apparently part of some college prep business.

One of them goes Indiana University.


Posted by Diesel Smoke, a resident of Downtown
on May 30, 2011 at 8:58 am

Go buy yourself a pistol. Know how to use it. Answer the door with the gun when they come. Make sure they see it. I guarantee they will never come back!


Posted by Sandy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 30, 2011 at 10:03 am

Doesn't matter if you "think" your neighbor called the cops. go ahead you self and call them too. Arrange a meeting with the cops and provide the picture.


Posted by shannon, a resident of Birdland
on May 30, 2011 at 11:11 am

They can get the names and ages off the internet. Google yourself and your husband and see what information pulls up.


Posted by Val Vista Resident, a resident of Val Vista
on May 30, 2011 at 5:43 pm

The guy came to my door too and at 8:00 am in the morning no less. He heard my dogs barking and was interested in what kind they were and how big they were. He asked me about other houses on the street and if they had kids. When I went to another window to see where he went and he was gone.
I couldn't figure out why he was so interested in my dogs and their size.


Posted by Claudette , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 30, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Many times solicitors will come to the door, and before they leave, they ask to save them time, and to let them know if there are other neighbors that have__________ which can be kids at certain ages...

My advice is to NOT give information on your neighbors to ANY ONE ~


Posted by ccwc, a resident of Jensen Tract
on May 31, 2011 at 8:29 am

Get involved in the Neighborhood Watch Program.
A dog is helpful.
Speak to them through a front window if possible to avoid opening your door.
Ask for a permit - they have to have one to solicit.
Call the police (the non emergency number) if you are concerned.
Unfortunately so much of our personal information - is public information.


Posted by ccwc, a resident of Jensen Tract
on May 31, 2011 at 8:31 am

BTW - LOVE the idea of taking a picture of them, their car, whatever you can. As soon as they leave your driveway - I'd go out with a camera and let them see you taking a picture - that should scare them into leaving. Great idea!! Be safe though!


Posted by Larry McKinnon, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 31, 2011 at 8:42 am

Do not ask for a permit unless you are interested in buying something from a door to door salesperson, do not engage in conversation whatsoever. You should have a peephole you can check knocks with. Doesn't matter they can tell you are watching them, it's actually good that they see your eyeball on them. Go online and translate something like I'm not interested into Russian, and that is what you say every time. In other words, you do not know what they are saying. Keep a halloween mask by your do and put it on when you hear a knock, friends and neighbors will think it's funny, but you could scare the heck out of door to door people. Or just do not answer your door if you do not know who is knocking. It's your house, your door, and your time, do not waste your time unless you want to have a little fun.


Posted by Me too, a resident of Mohr Park
on May 31, 2011 at 9:24 am

They were here yesterday (5/30), somekind of "Kaplan" and "SAT" college prep. Didn't know our kids names. Tried to use neighbor's names to get me to talk (didn't know the neighbors -lol!) My noisy dog really helped keep it short. I like Larry's idea...just don't answer the door or talk through the front window (then shut it on them). We have all been raise to be polite, but with solicitor's I think we may have to bend those rules, especially if you have a "no solicitors" sign. My husband always asks if they can read before anything else, then points to the sign and slams the door on their face.


Posted by ccwc, a resident of Jensen Tract
on May 31, 2011 at 9:49 am

Not answering the door is another problem that has been posted on this site - apparently there are some people that will knock on doors to determine if you are home or not and if there is no answer they proceed to gain entry into your home. I think it better to at least - well - I open the kitchen window and simply say 'no thank you' and slam it shut. My dogs are 'going off' by then and they don't stick around. VERY smart of them! We too have No soliciting signs - two of them as a matter of fact - one before they even hit the porch and one right over the doorbell - so what do they do - they knock and pretend they didn't see it over the doorbell! I Love Me Too's husband asking if they can read! Totally!!


Posted by Stacy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 31, 2011 at 10:23 am

Make it alot easier on everyone and call the cops right away. with this many comlaints they will be there in a heartbeat. the cops want to be called when suspicious people are lurking the neighborhoods.


Posted by RobinM, a resident of Foothill High School
on May 31, 2011 at 10:23 am

I've had them come to my door several times. I simply say "not interested" and close the door even as they keep talking. I don't care if they think I'm being rude, I think they are being rude to interupt my solitude and ignoring my "no soliting" sign.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on May 31, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Me too said:"We have all been raise to be polite, but with solicitor's I think we may have to bend those rules, especially if you have a "no solicitors" sign. My husband always asks if they can read before anything else, then points to the sign and slams the door on their face."

I try to be polite to solicitors at all times. But, yeah, sometimes it's difficult because it does seem that solicitors have gotten quite a bit more pushy and assertive over the years, often pressing on even after you've already said "No thanks". If they do press on after one "No thanks" I'll just say something like "Ooops, I think I hear the telephone. Bye now." and close the door.

I generally don't get too upset with the solicitors themselves, though. A lot of them are young kids or adults who got stuck with the unattractive job of door-to-door solicitations. I direct most of my ire at the unseen bosses who coach the young people into using pushy solicitation tactics.


Posted by john, a resident of Del Prado
on May 31, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Everyone is saying how we should be polite to solicitors. Can I ask why? These are people coming to our communities and our properties, demanding that we spend our time listening to them try to convince us that we should give them money for something that they think is important. If we all just were jerks to these people, maybe they would get the idea that Pleasanton is not the kind of community that likes to be pestered when trying to relax and enjoy our hard earned homes. I'm not a grump, just sick of these solicitors thinking they're entitled to my/our time!


Posted by reasonable, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2011 at 12:40 am

This is just a new twist on the "book of knowledge" or encyclopedia sales they did 30 years ago. I remember talking to a college classmate who did this one summer: they send the kids to a neighborhood far from home (no awkward encounters with peopel they know) and coach them to get information from each house for the next neighbor, so they have a "leading" line to start. It is a sales system. I had them come to my door yesterday and said no politely three times then just shut the door.


Posted by Fed up, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2011 at 10:49 am

Two girls (looked to be in their early 20s) came to my house and were selling books and magazines. When I said I did not want any, they asked me if they could use my bathroom! Of course I said no. I am no longer opening the door unless I am expecting someone.


Posted by mike, a resident of Charter Oaks
on Jun 2, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Check out spokeo.com - it has information on your house, family, income etc. Some of it is accurate some is dated. You also have the option of removing yourself from the database.


Posted by Spokeo is not accurate, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm

"Check out spokeo.com - it has information on your house, family, income etc. Some of it is accurate some is dated. You also have the option of removing yourself from the database."

I just looked at spokeo, searched for my name and the information is not accurate, it did not even get my racial profile or education level correct! Plus it wants to charge you to give you the "full information" - why would anyone pay when most of the info they give for free is wrong?


Posted by Blossom, a resident of Stoneridge Orchards
on Jun 5, 2011 at 2:24 am

Two young guys in white shirts and black ties knocked on my door, and one of them tried to give me some literature. I called them Commies and threatened to call the (overpaid) cops. Pleasanton needs to show these people what our community values are.

Regards,


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