Solicitors must have a permit from the City of Lakewood to go door to door. They should have the permit with them at all times, and upon request, present the information to potential customers. The city requires such solicitors to go through a fingerprint background check first. A permit from Los Angeles County or another jurisdiction is not valid in Lakewood.
Be careful with solicitors. Bogus charities and "almost too good to be true" deals can happen in door-to-door solicitations. Scam artists create fake charity or business names that are similar to legitimate ones, which allow you to think that the solicitation is valid.
Here are some tips to protect you from door-to-door scams:
- If a solicitor comes to your door, look to see who is on the other side before opening your door.
- If you are unsure if the organization is legitimate, ask to see their identification along with their Lakewood solicitor’s permit. You can even double check if their permit is legitimate at www.lakewoodcity.org/solicitors or by calling Lakewood City Hall at 562-866-9771, extension 2622.
- If someone comes to your door without a Lakewood permit, you can call the Sheriff’s Department business line at 562-623-3500. They will send a deputy out to check on the solicitor.
- If you do contribute to someone at your door, do not give cash. Make a check out to the name of the charitable organization, and make sure you get a receipt with the charity name on it. Or make an online donation to the charity.
- Unless you specifically entered a contest, always ignore solicitations saying that you’ve won money or a prize. These are almost always fraudulent.