Created: 1995. Updated: 3 December, 2004


Get Rid of We Buy Houses, Lease Purchase, Work at Home, I lost 40 Pounds, Have a PC?,
and Other Obnoxious Street Signs

(How to Get Rid of Junk Mail, Spam, and Telemarketers)

Take back your neighborhood. Sick of those obnoxious Work at Home signs in your neighborhood?
Be sure to visit CAUSS is a nation-wide network of citizens who cooperate with Code Enforcement officers to get rid of ugly (and illegal) street signs. Their forums are particularly helpful.
Background: Street signs are also known as street spam, bandit signs, snipe signs, vertical litter, stuff on a stick (SOS), illegal signs, and utility pole advertising. Almost all of these street signs are an organized racket. Here are some examples:
  • We Buy Houses!
  • Rent to Own - Lease Purchase
  • Work at home! Work from home!
  • I lost 40 pounds in 20 days!
  • Have a PC?
  • Make $$$ in Your Spare Time - Not MLM!
  • Customer Service Reps Needed!
  • Looking for 29 People to Lose Weight!

These scams aren't simply the brainchild of some local person. Rather, they are often nationally-organized companies who give a very small percentage of their profits to low-level recruits who put their signs up in your neighborhood. These people usually buy their signs from the national firms or support agencies. These scams are typically multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes, where the objective of the companies is to get as many fools putting up their signs as they can. In fact, about 80% of signs a few years ago were MLM marketing for Herbalife products.
Most of the people who put up these signs fall into two classes: people who naively fall for the "get rich quick" scam, and dedicated offenders who spend their weekends plastering neighborhoods with their illegal signs. These folks think it's ok to put their signs anywhere they want: near malls, Wal-Marts, grocery stores, at street corners, and on your property. And in the majority of cities, this is illegal - check with your local city government Code Enforcement department.
Advertising costs money. That's why these corporations have taken the approach of getting people to place their ads for free on common public property, even in cities where ordinances clearly forbid it, as well as on private property.
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Copyright 1995-2004 Fred Elbel. This material may be freely used and distributed only for non-commercial purposes, with credit. Nothing in this web site should be construed as legal advice. This web site is provided for information purposes only. Opinions presented are those of the author (or of other contributors as indicated). Trademarks and copyrighted items remain the property of the owner.