Got an interesting(kind of threatening) call from my "bandit signs" - Posted by Tarun_md

Posted by Rob FL on June 08, 2000 at 16:11:06:

Yep. You are very right. Anyone can sue you for anything. Anyone can cloud your title by simply recorded a document or lien against it.

Of course anybody with any assets or income would not do this frivolously. If someone sues you for a ridiculous lawsuit, you could counter-claim that it is frivolous and sue for attorneys fees, slander, etc. If someone clouds your title in bad faith you can sue them for damages as well.

Doing this frivolously is very similar to a wreckless driver. If they intentionally drive wreckless and cause an accident (damaging you or your property), you can sue them for damages.

Of course I believe that it is best to avoid disputes and lawsuits whenever possible. The only ones who really win are the attorneys.

Got an interesting(kind of threatening) call from my “bandit signs” - Posted by Tarun_md

Posted by Tarun_md on June 06, 2000 at 22:30:20:

Something quite interesting happened today. I get a call from a guy(who only gives me his first name)regarding my bandit signs saying that he works for some type of an environtmental protection agency and they are responsible for overseeing that no one throws litter, or attach any kind of signs on telephone poles that makes the community look bad.
When I asked him what his last name is and what division of the county does he EXACTLY work for, he cuts me off and literally yells at me giving me the county code that I have violated and that they have taken pictures of my signs. If I don’t take them off within 24hrs, they will refer me to the appropriate authorities and will charge me a fine of $500/sign/day. He also says that they have ways of tracking me down.
He did sound quite knowledgeable about the matter, but there are some things in the conversation that made me think that this guy might be fake.
First of all, he does NOT give me his last name(I asked for it several times). He does not give the name of the exact agency he is employed by(I asked that several times too).
Moreover, his phone number is a (202) area code(washington DC)and he is talking about signs in Montgomery county(MD)which is a (301) area code. From what I know, any county office responsible for such things is most likely located in the county itself and NOT in a totally different jurisdicton(such as Washington DC in this case).
I am kind of worried. But then I don’t want to take my signs down because some idiot might be playing games with me.
What can I do in this situation?

Re: Got an interesting(kind of threatening) call from my “bandit signs” - Posted by Mark

Posted by Mark on June 08, 2000 at 16:03:41:

I’d say what you have here is quite probably another investor looking to cut his competition. You mention the area code, so I’m guessing you have caller ID. If so, go to and enter the number there. It will look up who it belongs to, and for free at that! I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if you discover the name of someone who has “WE BUYS HOUSES” ads right along side yours in the Sunday paper. Heck, if you’re feeling a little ornery, go down to the corner pay phone and give him a little of his own medicine early some Monday morning. At the least, you’ll know the name of a hothead you’ll want to avoid doing business with.

I’d recommend a little strategy of my own if you’re concerned about your signs: call the numbers you see on other signs and ask that person if they’ve had any trouble with theirs. They might be able to tell you certain areas to avoid, loopholes, etc. that could save you a lot of aggravation. It may be that the distance from the ground, color, size or whatever is all you have to be concerned with to keep yourself legit. That may sound silly, but zoning laws can affect something as simple as color combinations, size, etc. etc. etc. Call any of them, not just investors. Painters, contractors, etc. have these things all over my part town. And you never know when you’ll make a great new contact for getting some fix-up work done, or even a house to buy!

Good luck all!

Re: WE USE BANDIT SIGNS ALL THE TIME!!! - Posted by Lori Samson

Posted by Lori Samson on June 08, 2000 at 01:53:03:

We have been using them for years in areas that you are not allowed to use them! Dallas City Limits and the suburbs. We watch the corners that have other people placing signs and see how long they stay. I have had this one corner that has had the same sign for over a year! The sweet person who mows just pulls it up and puts it back in when he’s through! I have found it laying down after they mowed a few times and I hopped out and shoved it back down. We exchanged it once because the winds last spring wore it ragged.
I have been called by code enforcment and I always sound shocked that I didn’t know I couldn’t do that! We work the areas that have a track record for not being bothered. We have our coraplast signs down to 7.50 a piece and I figure that if they only stay a week before code gets them I still think it’s worth the advertizing cost! I had a friend one time call me and said she was hunting for packing boxes in a dumpster and saw a bunch of our signs! I ran over and retrieved them and collected a ton of good frames! I now don’t care if we get hit by that one enforcer since I know where he dumps them!!! Lori

Turan, welcome to the club!! Need input too. - Posted by Tim Jensen

Posted by Tim Jensen on June 07, 2000 at 21:53:32:


I had the same thing happen to me about 2-3 months ago. I had a realtor call me up to tell me how my signs were illegal and that he was going to have the Board of Realtors arrest me. Needless to say, I am still here.

Next time this happens, tell the guy you are sorry. Then ask him where the sign or signs were. Then tell him you will have the company that put them up take them down. Then go out and take the sign that he complained about down. Move it to another location. Make the guy think he has won.

Also, You may want to look into putting your signs on stakes and just driving them into the ground. That may solve your problem. I do not know. As for being fined, I am sure that what will happen is that the city or county will send you a letter or give you a call asking you to take the signs down. Then if you do not comply, they fine you.

I have been working on a solution for this problem and I have come up with a number of ideas and would like your opinions:

  1. If the heat gets too hot, just take signs down and put up new ones with a different number. Just get a new cell phone number.

  2. Get a pay as you go phone, just for the signs. That way the city has no way of knowing who they can fine. Because the phone can be in a made up name.

  3. Get a voice mail number and use that. Once again, use a fake name and address and pay with cash or money order.

Let me know what holes are in my ideas. I know that cost may come into play, but besides that what do you all think?

Tim Jensen

got a summons / some hoods dont even allow for sale signs - Posted by GIO

Posted by GIO on June 07, 2000 at 19:16:00:

i was a bird dog for someone who suggested the signs on the poles, so i did it and on the same day we got a call and they showed up and gave the company a summons (about $100+), some hoods here in long island dont even allow for sale signs - and they’re are middle class hoods- all in NYC

Isn’t there, in fact, some real risk here? - Posted by Ron (MD)

Posted by Ron (MD) on June 07, 2000 at 13:27:50:

I agree that this caller sounds like a phony.

However, I’ve heard tales about cities that enforce these regulations very strictly and can slap a significant fine on you without any due process or notification. I’m in Baltimore and there are very few of these signs, but I’ve always thought it would be effective.

Nevertheless, I don’t want to get a bill for $250 per sign in my mailbox.

Isn’t this a possibility?

Re: Got an interesting(kind of threatening) call from my “bandit signs” - Posted by Craig

Posted by Craig on June 07, 2000 at 13:09:03:

If the same thing is happening to people in other area’s there is probably some “realtor” training program telling the realtors to do that sort of thing. It could also be another investor in your town, or someone who doesn’t like you advertising for free like a billboard company or local paper. Or it could be just one those grumpy(usually old but no offense) people who have nothing better to do but nitpick about dumb things, like having a pink flamingo in your yard.

The thing is you aren’t required to comply with anyone about anything unless you know who they are and exactly why you have to.

Re: Got an interesting(kind of threatening) call from my “bandit signs” - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on June 07, 2000 at 12:44:07:

I wouldn’t worry too much about this. Like everybody said, it is probably just some faker.

Because of the due process laws in the Constitution, the government cannot punish or penalize you without giving you written notice and a chance to respond. Even traffic tickets can be contested. Just keep doing what you are doing.

Re: What is on your signs - Posted by Ron-Va

Posted by Ron-Va on June 07, 2000 at 12:21:45:

Lots of comments on this, but I would like to know what you guys and gals put on your signs so I can get some up and maybe get a phone call like that. But hope to get sellers calling.
Thanks in advance. And my bet would be he is a phony also

Someone got smart in my town… - Posted by SusanL.–FL

Posted by SusanL.–FL on June 07, 2000 at 11:03:41:

and tacked their ‘bandit’ signs on telephone poles at LEAST 25-30 feet off the ground!

Probably used either a VERY long ladder or a ‘cherry picker’ to put them up.

Re: Got an interesting(kind of threatening) call from my “bandit signs” - Posted by phil fernandez

Posted by phil fernandez on June 07, 2000 at 10:00:45:


If you have caller ID look up his number, Get his address and tack up one of your signs on a telephone poll in front of this guys house.

Re: Little off subject, but curious - Posted by stacy

Posted by stacy on June 07, 2000 at 09:07:07:

I’m in the process of trying to make some bandit signs rather than paying $25 a sign (listed on City Council elections have just ended here and political signs are everywhere. Can I pick them up, spray paint background and re-use them?

Re: Got an interesting(kind of threatening) call from my “bandit signs” - Posted by JB in MD

Posted by JB in MD on June 07, 2000 at 08:25:38:


Were those your signs down around Montrose/Randolph and Rt 355?

Where are you in Mont Cty?

Best of luck with this situation! I don’t think you should be worried, the guy is obviously not a governmnet official.


Re: Got an interesting(kind of threatening) call from my “bandit signs” - Posted by Steve (Vancouver, WA)

Posted by Steve (Vancouver, WA) on June 07, 2000 at 07:59:34:


I work for a builder here in the Portland, OR area and we routinely put up bandit signs to market our properties. In fact, it’s kind of a “game” we play with the city…we put them up, they take them down.

In fact, our sales office even employs a guy to routinely re-post the signs before the weekends so we can get some traffic to our site before the city has a chance to remove them.

The only repercussions we’ve experienced is that if the city feels we are “over-doing” it, they will threaten to refuse inspections so we can’t move ahead with our construction schedule, then we back off until things go back to normal. I guess every jurisdiction has its own rules to play by…

Good advice below on checking the reverse lookups. Probably a jealous realtor!


Re: Two Things… - Posted by Tim W. (NJ)

Posted by Tim W. (NJ) on June 07, 2000 at 06:02:12:

First, people in official capacities do not get emotional and angry when enforcing their job, matter of fact, they usually issue written warnings or summons.

Second, if you have this guys number (from Caller-Id or otherwise) go to and do a reverse lookup of the number to find his name and address.

Tarun…I had the same thing happen - twice!!! - Posted by Vic

Posted by Vic on June 07, 2000 at 02:07:42:


Hi! I remember having a very similar problem. It happened twice.

The first time, I got a call from someone pretending to be an attny. in the DA’s office. Whoever called must’ve known this guy’s name & decided to use it. Anyway, he called on a Sun. morning & left a msg. saying that he was so and so, with so and so’s office. Since he didn’t leave a name, I looked up his name in the phone book & called him. He said that it wasn’t him that made the call & found it interesting that someone was using his name.

A second time, I got a letter at my office which stated some ordinance & gave some ordinance # & said I would be fined so much per sign, if I didn’t have the signs removed within so many hours. Of course, I left the signs up & never heard another word since then.

Based on your post, I’m wondering if they have some kind of environmental wacko group out there that encourages it’s followers to do this type of thing.


Re: Got an interesting(kind of threatening) call from my “bandit signs” - Posted by dewCO

Posted by dewCO on June 06, 2000 at 23:09:28:

Such signs are illegal in many cities in the Denver metro area. They are considered a blight on neighborhoods and if they can catch people they can fine them. That’s for real. I am one of the biggest “helpers” for free, as whenever I’m walking around the city I take all signs down off poles and posts. They do contribute to making cities look tacky.

Re: Got an interesting(kind of threatening) call from my “bandit signs” - Posted by pboone

Posted by pboone on June 06, 2000 at 22:51:53:

thank you i needed a good one today

Re: Got an interesting(kind of threatening) call from my “bandit signs” - Posted by JohnBoy

Posted by JohnBoy on June 06, 2000 at 22:47:22:


First he says he’s in charge of over seeing this. Then he says if you don’t comply he will report you to the appropiate authorities! LOL. Sounds like he’s blowing smoke!

They have ways of tracking you down! REALLY??? Gee! Didn’t he just call you at your number? LOL

Sounds like an idiot to me!