How to remain anonymous with bandit signs?

We received calls from the state trooper and Dept of Transportation for our signs recently.

We use a google number forwarded to an answering service.

If they want to track us, it would probably be very easy to do with a little effort.

So my question is - what’s the best way to remain anonymous?

I think prepaid phones would be a great option, but then I wouldn’t be able to make use of forwarding the call to an answering service, b/c the answering service would require my information.

How are others dealing with this??

Im in NJ too. Are the first three numbers on your sign 877, if so you guys are all over the place lol.

Did the police or the dept of transporation threaten you with a find or anything. I know this post isnt helping you much im just curious.

I got two tickets from the NJ Troopers in the past year. They are just doing their job and it’s part of the cost of running a business. You can’t hide, you just have to get used to where they don’t want your signs.

I’m also in NJ. The last time I used “permanent” bandit signs I got a call from the township code enforcement officer telling me to take down the signs or face a $1200 per sign, per day, fine. That would amount to about $25000 per day fine, a little more “cost of running a business” than I am willing to afford. I pulled them down. Now I only put up signs after 4:00 PM on Fridays and take them down on Sunday evenings. I haven’t been contacted since; municipal workers do not work on the weekends so you would need a particularly motivated one to do something on the weekend. At least in my area they seem to tolerate the signs, including the “Open House” signs which are also illegal under the municipal sign ordinance, if removed after the weekend.

I can’t say yes or no to that, lots of people have 877 as the initial #s :cool
And yes I was told I’d be receiving a fine if the signs weren’t removed, or they would prank call the number to meet and catch me, or they’d get a subpoena and track the phone # down.

Wow…that’s a high price to pay. I’d hope if it came down to it, the judge would agree to lessen the actual fine.

Dave, great point. How much was the fine? And did they catch you in the act of putting them up or did they track down your phone number?

“Wow…that’s a high price to pay. I’d hope if it came down to it, the judge would agree to lessen the actual fine.”

Ha ha … Ha ha ha ha … ha ha ha … ha ha ha ha ha ha … now that funny right there! How do you think the towns pays the judges’ salaries?

I’ve never heard of anyone ever being caught using a service like, google voice, grasshopper and any other sites like these. How would it be easy for them to find you?

I did have a student in Atlanta get caught once. The code enforcement acted as a buyer and asked to meet him at the property. When he did, he got served with a fine. Some sneaky stuff…

Best option?? Don’t do bandit signs! LOL If you are all in NJ put your money together and get some billboards?? When the caller calls have them enter the zip code and forward to the correct phone… Go big or go home. Personally I don’t use Bandit signs for marketing reasons and never will. Personally I feel there is a better way to get the message out without signs. So that is just my 2 cent’s worth as far as thoughts?

First of all, Google voice number are not traceable. I’m sure if it was linked to something like murder, the cops could find a way to track you down from the number. However, for something like bandit signs, I wouldn’t worry about them trying to trace your number. Listen to Maestro…I’ve never heard of anyone being caught off these numbers either.

Another way to remain anonymous is to hire someone to put the signs up for you. You can post an ad on CL and have someone write the signs and put them up for less than $2 per sign. This is a great deal taking into account the fact that it frees up a bunch of your time.

I also think that googlevoice number shouldn’t be that easy to track. From the time you create the account, don’t use your real identity on it. I think they may just be threatening you. Or maybe it can be traced, but shouldn’t be that easy.

You just have to be very careful about people calling your number. Beause of course if they play the role of a seller really good, you might end up giving your company name and stuff.

What I really think though is, if using bandit signs are that much of a trouble, there are still plenty of marketing ways you can do.

Well said Mike. Unless you are doing something extremely illegal, I don’t think people are going to take the time, energy, and money to try to trace you from your Gvoice number (that is if its even possible to trace you.)

I use google voice as well and have never had a problem with it. One of the main reason why people use google voice is so they can’t track you. It sounds like pure intimidation to me, but at the end of the day who knows. Start exploring some other marketing options to get your phone to ring, there are tons out there.

To your success! :smile

Cant go wrong with Google voice. You use to be able to get as many numbers as you wanted until they changed there registration to where each number is placed under one of your numbers. So if you have 3 phones, you can have 3 google voice numbers.

If you dont want to use that, you can always get a magic jack. or Magic jack plus. :brow

This isn’t a direct answer but in my limited experience I find that networking with people is the solution for all problems. With that said at most intersections are bussinesses I find that I can pay an employee to not remove my sign while there on dutie…50 for the month is usually good. And you want to do this with your problem intersection where bandit signs aren’t safe…use that 5:00 traffic to your advantage

Along with or instead of doing bandit signs why not put your ‘Signs’ where the sellers are?

From my experience, when sellers gets motivated they go to the Internet… they don’t go driving around looking for signs.

At bare minimum, a majority of sellers will start by going online to find out what their home is worth… for me at least it makes a ton of sense to try and catch them there.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done dozens of deals from Bandit signs, but they’re just one of dozens of tools you could be using to keep your lead funnel full.

Just my 2 cents

Great point Eric. I’ve posted simple ads on Craigslist for both buyers and sellers and have gotten a surprising amount of leads from there. It’s a great free method and if you post there consistently, you will get a consistent flow of leads (especially in the larger cities).

Just depends on where you are, many play the game and consider it the cost of doing business. One town the ordinance was strict and the fine was $300 per sign for the first incident.

A local investor playing the hide game was nailed, because you can’t hide to deep or the prospects would never get to you. And this town had a Barney Fife on staff and he picked up 40 signs, no warning calls just a $12,000 fine, pay up or go to jail.

I’m with you on this, dukefan2014. :biggrin