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The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110, Portland, OR 97204

Dealing with door-to-door solicitors

Male knocking on a door

It’s not against the law to sell door-to-door. Sales people are not required by Multnomah County to apply for a permit or carry identification. However, there are certain behaviors or signs that cause residents to be concerned:

  • Aggressive sales tactics including trying to enter your home.
  • The solicitor won’t leave your premises.
  • The representative doesn't have company materials or identification.
  • An individual looks into home windows or checks the side of the house when no one answers the door. In some cases door handles may be checked.
  • Probing questions are asked that make you feel uncomfortable.

 Tips for dealing with solicitors:

  • When in doubt, you do not have to open your door. Do make it appear that someone is home. In some cases, burglars will case a neighborhood by knocking on doors to find unoccupied residences.
  • If you are not interested in the product, say no and end the conversation.
  • Don’t provide personal information such as social security numbers or birthdates. You don’t have to answer any question that makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • Never allow a solicitor to enter your home. This includes utility workers who come to your door stating that they need to fix a problem in your home. These kinds of visits should be arranged in advance and verified with the company.
  • Wait and do your research instead of purchasing at the door. Ask for information, check it out, and donate or buy later when you have time to think about it. If you decide to make a purchase, pay by credit card.
  • Post a "No Solicitors" sign. This sign will make it easy to reinforce that you are not doing business with solicitors.
  • Never pay for construction or paving services on the spot. There have been scammers who are not licensed by the Oregon Construction Contractors Board and offer below-market prices for paving and other projects. Typically, the outcomes include shoddy work and materials and in some cases workers don’t finish the job.
  • If you belong to a Neighborhood Watch, contact your neighbors and let them know to be cautious if you have encountered an aggressive or suspicious solicitor.
  • Contact the Attorney General Consumer Protection Hotline to report problems with a company in the Portland area (503) 229-5576.

Call 9-1-1 for immediate threats to life or property and crimes in progress. Otherwise contact the police non-emergency number at 503-823-3333 to report suspicious activity. When in doubt, you can start with 9-1-1.