Had an interesting meeting with a spammer last weekend.
I spotted a sign on the SW corner of Midway and Timberglen (north Dallas), did a U-turn intending to park so I could pick it up. Then I realized there was an SUV in the right lane with its hatch open, and that the back of the SUV was filled with signs. Then I noticed an 60-ish gentleman walking from the corner to the SUV with a couple of signs, which he threw into the back of the SUV. I figured that I had stumbled across another sign harvester, I pulled over and rolled down my window to say hi.
I told him that I picked up signs and asked if that's what he was doing. He said that he pulled some up and put some down! He asked me who I was with, I thought he was asking if I was a CE officer, but now I think he was asking if I was a spammer. I asked him what he meant about pulling some signs out and putting some signs in -- he told me that he puts in his own signs and pulls out his competitors' signs. (I had suspected that this was happening among the "No Rent" spammers in north Dallas, now I know it's true.) In fact, he told me, he had just pulled out two of his competitors signs and put in one of his own.
I pointed out that Dallas could fine him up to $1,500 per sign, he seemed surprised. (He's obviously been doing this for months with no negative repercussions.) I was going to expound on the folly of what he was doing, but then I noticed that he had a hammer in his hand. I never felt threatened, but I decided that it would be stupid to continue to lecture an armed man, so I excused myself and drove off.
Next, I pulled into the Walgreen's lot down the street to get a sign I had spotted there. It occurred to me that the spammer might be close behind me, so I decided to wait until he passed by. But he didn't -- he turned into the lot and pulled up the sign I was going after! I don't think he saw me, but he may have. At any rate, he didn't leave one of his own.
The nice thing about this added exposure was that it gave me time to write down his license plate number. What should I do with that information? Can I post it here, or is that against the rules?
Anyway, a little later I went back and harvested the sign that he told me he had posted. It reads:
STOP RENT Own a new home $0 down payment total move in 3-2-2 as low as $850 monthly 214-794-7330 New homes 2day
I feel like I should do something will all this info, but I'm not sure of what I should do. Reporting it to Dallas will probably bring about zero results. Any ideas?
>"The nice thing about this added exposure was that it gave me time to write down his license plate number. What should I do with that information? Can I post it here, or is that against the rules?>
It's OK to post the license number and vehicle description on the forum.
Just don't post any other information as to owner or to whom the vehicle is registered. We have several CE officers in the area that can put the information to good use. Good use of good judgement. Thanks for the information.