LITTLE ROCK, ARK. (KTHV) -- A knock on the door is familiar this time of year.
Door-to-door solicitors, they could be selling you insurance, bibles, or maybe a political message. Most are harmless, but many in Central Arkansas are reporting run-ins that have them concerned.
"They come to my door and knock on it, and are very pushy about trying to get me to buy a security system from them. They asked personal questions such as how much income I have each month, what I do with the income that I have,” said Faulkner County Resident, James Tilley.
He added the questions only got more personal when he turned 65, and insurance agents started knocking, with questions about his Medicare.
We know solicitors are more frequent during the summer. Steve Kabat, owner of Interactive Security Solutions, said this summer's trend seems to be security system sales.
"Getting slammed is one of the biggest ones, where people come in, other companies will come in, saying they are there to upgrade your system, and will say they're with the company that you are with, whether it's ABC alarm or whatever it is, then they're not. By the time the customer figures it out, they're already in their house taking their equipment down, and that's a big problem,” Kabat explained.
Next time a solicitor knocks at your door, ask them to see a business card. If you're feeling uncomfortable, don't open the door, and if there's anything suspicious, call police.
Many Central Arkansas cities require solicitors to undergo a background check, carry a permit, and even have that permit visible, but there are other things you can do, to be sure they're legitimate.
"Buyer beware. Don't make a decision today. If they're a good company, they're going to have a great deal for you tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. A good company is going to be there for you down the road. So if somebody says you need to do it this week, I'd tell them to hit the road,” Kabat said.
Here’s what your community does to protect neighbors from unwanted or unethical solicitors:
Sherwood: A door-to-door solicitation permit is required. Solicitors from outside the city of Sherwood must pay a $25 per day fee, with a five-day max. After the five days, they can’t apply for another permit for 30 days. Solicitors must have their badge visible at all times. If they have a brick and mortar store in Sherwood, they don’t have to pay the fee, but still have to have the permit.
Benton: Solicitors must get a Privilege License from the city. They must drive a marked car. Solicitors can’t solicit in neighborhoods that have signs posted, and must leave if asked. There’s a $50 fee to solicit, and a $1 per employee fee for each employee that works 20+ hours per week.
Bryant: Solicitors are required to have a permit. There is a $15 application fee, and a background check is run. The city keeps a list of addresses that do not want solicitors. If you’d like to be added to that list, contact police. Solicitors must keep the permit with them. It is good for one year.
Hot Springs: A business applies for a permit in Hot Springs, and puts a list of employees on the permit. Solicitors are given license that they are asked to carry with them. The city collects the employees’ social security and license numbers, and the license plate number of the vehicle the solicitors are using.
Little Rock: Solicitors are required to have a permit and must have it on them. The permit costs $5 and is good for three months. A background check is done before any permits are issued.
Pine Bluff: A permit is required to solicit in Pine Bluff. The cost is $504 a month. It must be visible at all times. Pine Bluff does not perform background checks on solicitors in that area.
North Little Rock: North Little Rock requires a permit to solicit. They issue background checks for anyone soliciting in that area. It is good for 30 days. They have a website, with every licensed peddler listed, so you can look up the person that came to your door.