Springtime is synonymous with spring scams. It never fails. Every year, around this time, scam artists come out of the woodwork. Scam artists will break down your door with “too good to be true” opportunities. BBB recommends you look out for these three spring scams:
Spring Scam #1: “Contractors” will knock on your door and offer to fix your roof, paint your house, or pave your driveway. They offer to do the job at a remarkably low cost, or they may tell you they have supplies “leftover” from a job down the street that will lower the estimate even more. The hitch is that you have to decide on the spot, and pay upfront. Chances are, once you pay them, you’ll never see the contractor again. If they do return to do the job, they may do the job with inferior supplies and poor workmanship. A reputable contractor won’t make customers decide on the spot. Ask family, friends, and co-workers for names of reliable contractors. Call references and see finished products. Check out a company’s BBB Business Review at www.bbb.org.
Spring Scam #2: Smiling kids that sell magazines or candy come knocking. You’ve never seen these kids before. Scam artists hire these kids to sell magazines and candy because it’s hard to say no to them. How can you tell if it’s a legitimate fundraiser or a scam? Ask who the young salesperson represents, ask about the organization, and request a name, address, and phone number. Ask where and how the money will be used. Put off the purchase until you can research the offer. Then check out the organization at www.bbb.org.
Spring Scam #3: You want to get away from it all, and you hear details about a dream vacation. Vacation scams cost consumers billions of dollars every year. If you hear about a travel deal, gather information, ask detailed questions, and check out the company with the BBB. Also, pay with a credit card and stay away from deals that require booking 60 days in advance because disputing a charge after that time is difficult – and scam artists know that.
For more consumer tips go to www.bbb.org or call 1-800-388-2222.