DOWNEY -- Homeowners beware: Phony charity workers are scamming residents out of donations for curb painting, a city spokeswoman said.
In the last month, the city has received several complaints about people posing as charity workers permitted to paint house numbers on the curb and asking for donations, said Juddy Ceniceros, a city spokeswoman.
In March, the city permitted only one charity-related group - Neighborhood Curb Painting Services supporting Compassion Ministries - for curb painting, she said.
Painting is under way in the northwest part of the city, bordered by Firestone Boulevard on the north and Lakewood Boulevard on the west, for the next month or so and then moves to other parts of the city.
The permit requires the group to paint address numbers on all curb faces, regardless of whether they receive a donation.
"Residents are under no obligation to contribute," Ceniceros said.
After painting the house number on the curb, a Neighborhood Curb Painting Services member can ask a resident only twice for a donation.
If a donation is made, the resident will receive a receipt including the charity's federal identification number for taxes.
If no one is home during the second visit, a group member may leave a note encouraging a donation by mail.
Donation collections are limited from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
If a solicitor doesn't have a copy of the city permit or it doesn't include contact information, the person might be unpermitted and should be reported to the city's Code Enforcement Division, 562-904-2392.
Threatening solicitors should be reported as a 911 emergency call.
Any house numbering mistakes or illegible numbers by Neighborhood Curb Painting Services should be reported to the organization, 562-716-1585.
Errors made by unpermitted painters should be reported to the city's Engineering Division, 562-904-7110.