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Beware of Home Repair Solicitors

In light of the recent storm and resulting property damage, the Downers Grove Police Department would like to remind residents to be cautious of solicitors, especially those soliciting home repairs. Be aware of the tactics that scammers use and the means to protect yourself from home repair fraud.

  • Use caution when hiring anyone to conduct repair work at your home. Home repair scams typically begin with someone coming door-to-door claiming to be able to do repair work cheaply. In reality, they may not have the skills to do the work, use substandard materials, or try to distract you while they steal your money or property.
  • Contact a reputable repairperson, preferably someone that was recommended to you. 
  • Take the time to get a written estimate of the work.
  • Check the license and insurance of the contractor, ask for references and get other estimates for comparison.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints lodged against the company.
  • Do not give any cash or deposit until agreements are in writing - and never pay for the entire project until it is complete and you are satisfied.
  • Consider contacting your insurance company. Several things need to be covered in this conversation; whether the damage is covered under your policy, what your deductible is, and whether the company refers you to a repair person or if you find someone yourself.
  • After you find a reputable repair person or company, make sure the contract contains a time for completion, the type and grade of products that will be used as well as a detailed outline of all work that is covered by the contract.

 Solicitation Regulations in Downers Grove 

Commercial Solicitation (Chapter 15, Section 15.29) is defined by the Village Municipal Code as contact with residents, without an appointment, for the purpose of selling for profit any goods, services or articles, such as magazine subscriptions, insurance policies, real estate listings, cleaning products.

Non-Commercial Solicitation (Chapter 15, Section 15.39) is contact with residents, without an appointment, for the purpose of requesting contributions (money, property, or financial assistance) or selling items for charitable, religious, and political causes.

NOTE : Persons who are only seeking or giving information (public opinion polls, political campaigns, pamphlet distribution) are not defined by the Village's ordinance as solicitors.

All Solicitors must:

  • Apply for a solicitation permit at Village Hall.
  • Wear their identification cards on their outer garments.
  • Honor "No Soliciting" signs prominently displayed near the main entrance to the premises.
  • Leave the premises when requested to do so.
  • Indicate the purpose of their visit and not misrepresent their purpose.
  • Solicit only during the hours set by the ordinance: Commercial Solicitors: Monday thru Saturday 9 am to 6 pm, excluding holidays; Non-Commercial Solicitors: 9am to 9 pm including weekends and holidays

A solicitation permit issued by the Village does not constitute any type of endorsement or verify the applicant's credentials. Residents are urged to use common sense when dealing with any solicitor, even those displaying a valid solicitor's permit. As a reminder, police strongly advise against inviting any solicitors into your home.

If you have any concerns about a solicitor or feel they are in violation of these regulations, do not hesitate to call 9-1-1 to report the incident.