Scam-proof your doorstep

Nowadays, you can encounter a scam artist just about anywhere — online, over the phone and even at your door. Here are a few ruses that might come a’ knocking, and tips to avoid getting taken:

Home repair scams

Someone offers to do yardwork or make repairs in or around your home. You want to save money and really need the work done so you give it a shot. He or she takes a cash payment from you upfront… and never returns.

Cable reconnect scams

Money’s been tight and your cable is off due to nonpayment. A flyer says you can get your cable reconnected for an unbelievably low price. You make an appointment, pay, and your cable may even reconnect — provided the scammers don’t skip off with your money first.

But will your cable stay on? Probably not. And is this even legal? Absolutely not. Once the cable company catches on, you’re cable-less again, out of the money you paid, and you’re probably in trouble with the company and law enforcement to boot.

Utility cut-on scams

There’s a power outage. Someone claiming to be with your utility company offers to reconnect your service for, say, $50. You pay. You wait. Hours later you’re still in the dark and out of money. A scam artist has run off with your money.

Protect your money, property and personal safety by following a few tips:

  • Don’t let anyone come into your home unless you have a prescheduled appointment. You have the right to refuse to open your own door.
  • Don’t pay cash to anyone who comes to your home claiming to be with a utility company or other service provider.
  • Confirm any special offers with your service provider — using the number on your bill or their website. Also, be suspicious of a promotional flyer offering service from multiple providers. Competitors don’t typically advertise together.
  • If you’re struggling with your bill, most providers can make payment arrangements to restore your service legitimately.

If anyone promises a service, takes your money and doesn’t deliver, file a complaint with the FTC and your state consumer protection agency.

Tagged with: customer service, home, scam

Comments

Thanks for the tips!

but in tehran someone stoled my card

YES; I get many calls from someone "doing work in your area and have "material left over. I can redo your drive way at a GREAT savings". I THEN usually ask "at what address are you working so I can see the quality? HANG UP. (`-`)

Great information as always. Thank you.

A helpful tip for anyone considering to get work done around your house, is to take a picture of the person and their car license plate. The police agreed this would be very helpful tracing a scammer.

That is a really good idea. However, as I am running behind the car driving away, I get a blurred picture!

Excellent service to provide

Your information is very helpful but please point out the numerous scams online as well. Since this information is given online should not the online scams be covered as well? Thank you.

Mainly Lotteries , IMF Award through email selection and other type of winnings online and jobs with checks and money orders,

Also threatening calls from FBI to be arrested or pay some money and also coat the last 4 digits of my social number,

Also asked to send money by western union to Africa to release funds and even some Banks sent me emails about account with them,

I never able to get any of these monies as I must pay to receive,

I received a phone call left message on answer machine from number 509-252-0143 said IRS lawsuit. 2nd call said this is final notice please call same number. involving a lawsuit against you. I dialed the number no response.FTC Complaint Assistant IRS Telephone Scam.

I had the same done to me today, caller left 2 messages on mt home phone saying: IRS filing a lawsuit against you left # 360 718-9951, I called it, said party not answering and disconnected me.

This is a scam. The IRS will never call you to demand money. They will drown you in written notices, but they will NEVER call you.

Thanks for the tip great info

Very informative. Most are common sense tips but do not under estimate people who will go for these things anyway 'cause they think they will be one up on everybody else !!

I'm getting alot email's scams

Last year about this time unfortunately I got taken by a door to door scam: two men offered to repair the damaged paint on my car, did some work which turned out to be ineffective and even more damaging, took my money and said they would be back after the weekend to finish the work. I have since noticed that all 2006 Toyota Camrys with the desert sand paint color have the same issue of blistering, peeling and fading. Those characters were probably out looking for cars like mine. I had to take my car to the car wash to have the mess they made with dried on wax removed. The car wash people expressed regret that I had been scammed, and told me they had seen several vehicles from my area messed up the same way. I immediately sent my story to our local newsletters and I think that prevented at least one of my neighbors from being scammed the same way, according to local police reports published therein.

I found this blog. This happened to me in Aurora, Co. Two men said they could remove the dent and paint to match. Did remove dent but the paint job was not good It didn't match no shine and they left a lot of wax told me not to take of for awhile. Beware of Mark in Toyota Sienna minivan in this area Dent Pro's.

If I don't recognize whoever is at my door, I just don't answer it. And, I don't have a doorbell anymore either. Makes it more difficult for solicitors.

My mom is being ripped off by a bank here in Beatrice, Nebraska. First National Bank. Using a thieving company by Checkmate. How can we fill theft charges on them?

If you have a problem with a bank, you can contact the local bank first. If that doesn't resolve the problem, you can contact the state banking authority for Nebraska. You should be able to find them online. If you have a complaint about a company that has misused your mom's personal information, go to identitytheft.gov and find out what to do.

There's another scam that hits neighborhoods. You have a man or woman coming to your door with a big box of teddy bears. that person gives a false sob story of someone in need, supposedly in the neighborhood, and asked for a donation. If you succumb to the story, at least do not give them a check or credit card, as these people are out for money not helping any kid, or charity, or whomever, except themselves. Locally, the cops say it isnt against the local laws or ordinances, and all they can do is find out if the person(s) have outstanding warrants. My advice is to tell them to go away or you'll call the cops. usually that does it. their cycle is every couple of years for apartment complexes and homes, just so people forget about them. don't forget, and don't buy into the stories.

It doesn't matter I file after file and still get hit no one cares , Tmobile shafts me my identity theft and Internet I give up

I have talked to my child about this.

Good ideas. One better step snap a picture of the persons. This may get some circulation and a small reward!

Thanks for all your information

There is a "Kevin Dean" listed in your membership who is a scammer. He asked for money,but I think he sent the request thinking I was someone else. The content was out of context taking into consideration the extent of conversations prior to the money request.

This is a very informative article. I would also like to include another thing that I believe to be a scam. My mother is in her 80's. A while back some people claiming to sell Kirby vacuum cleaners came to her door and she let them in. She ended up buying a high dollar Kirby vacuum cleaner from them and then they took her two remaining vacuum cleaners with them. I don't believe she received any sort of discount for giving them her old vacuum cleaners. I have since instructed her to NEVER allow anyone in her house unless it is someone with a utility company that she has contacted and they show proper ID.

I also bought a Kirby plus shampooer and extras from a woman and man who demenstrated. They used my vacuum then theirs on the carpet. Yes it pulled more dirt out so I was impressed. They took my new upright and left after I gave them a !00.00 down payment . The price on the outfit was $2000.00 . I had to finance it for a another $1000.00.. The vacuum works good but it is so heavy I cant hardly lift it. I used it twice and shampooer still in box. I advertised it for sale for $900.00 /obo in 2 papers and never got a call! If it wasnt so heavy I would keep it as it does have an overdrive foot pedal which makes it very easy to push. I am in my 80's so dont have the strength to lift it. I'll never let another salesperson in my home again. People come selling frozen meats out of their truck and will give you free steaks if you buy. Yes... we did that too. The beef is old cows from a dairy who passed their prime we found out. It wasnt the best. Buyer beware!!!!

You can report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

god a scamer works with satan

I DEMAND AN INVESTIGATION OF A FRAUD THAT IS BEING COMMITTED BY A COMPANY NAMED POGOPLUG that offers backupservices. POGOPLUG HAS MULTIPLE CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS AND THEY DO NOT EVEN REPORT HAVING A TELEPHONE NUMBER. PLEASE REPORT THE ISSUE OF THIS FRAUD/SCAM TO OTHER CONSUMERS SO THEY DO NOT FALL INTO THIS TRAP. THE POGOPLUG'S 1 YEAR LICENSE IS BEING SOLD AT OFFICE DEPOT AND STAPLES. I HAD SENT E-MAIL TO THEIR LEGAL TEAM AND THEY DO NOT EVEN RESPOND. THIS IS A COMPLETE SCAM! PLEASE PROCEED TO MAKE AN INVESTIGATION INMEDIATELY TO PROTECT CONSUMERS. THANKS FOR YOUR TIME AND CONSIDERATION.

You can report to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Blog comments don't go into the database.

If you paid for goods or services with a credit card, you can usually dispute the charge if the good or service was not satisfactory. You can dispute the charge

  • after you make a good faith effort to resolve the dispute with the seller,
  • if the charge is for more than $50,
  • or if you made the purchase in your home state or within 100 miles of your current billing address.

This article about using a credit card tells you more.

 

I must admit, I have had my own taste of scam which could have been avoided had it been that I have done my part in ensuring the legitimacy of the job offer. It was indeed a costly lesson and a disappointing experience.

Received a call from someone claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House saying I had won $2 million. Seeing a scam, I played along. After some questions about how I wanted the check and announcement to the local media made, they said I would be glad to know they had paid 99% of the taxes and fees for the prize and said "You do know you are responsible for the 1% right?" I dismissed them immediately but some might fall for it although this is a variation of other well known scams.

i got a friend request from a person i knew, She asked me if i heard her good news, she said that she had just won 250,000 dollars from facebook lottery.i went to the link and followed the instructions, until they ask that i pay 1500 dollars for taxes so i could received my money. they wanted me to go to walmart and send the money. That when i said NO! BEWARE

You should never trust any online lottery or contest just based upon principle alone---that's just how pervasive and insidious these crooks are. Hopefully you learned from that experience, so that the next time someone says to you "I won this money," and tries to involve you in it, if it's a friend, kindly tell them why you wouldn't get involved and don't even bother to pursue such nonsense in the first place.

Even State lotteries are all a scam-------it's just one big numbers game stacked immensely against the consumer!

If you tally up all the money you spent of lottery tickets just the past 5 years alone, for those whom think nothing much of gambling, when you can see the losses you incur in "black" and "white" the figures can be staggering.

Don't even waste one moment of your precious time with such frivolous junk. Life is too short but still filled with many legitimate and natural experiences worth far more than any expense one might take on just for the remote chance of a win-fall...

from phone number 410557498449 get a fraud call, inform me call this number 3952153443 and have a grant for $7.000.00

thanx for the useful tips, somebody is using my name in order to get nice credits and accreditations, to access some official places. I had reported these identity thefts, to the Police, a s they keep using nicknames, to scam me, but they keep continuing...I hope to get soon, relieved from this poison, in ,my daily job of journalist. Thank you.

Go to identitytheft.gov for tips and information to help you recover from identity theft.

I was informed by Social Security that someone tried to open an on-line account at the Social Security Administration, using my name and social security number. I called SSA immediately and they said they flagged the number and in order to make any changes I would have to come into the office. Four weeks later, someone tried to change my direct deposit information so that the check would go to their bank. The flag on my account seems to be useless.

If someone has your Social Security and bank account numbers, they may have access to more of your personal information. Go to identitytheft.gov and find out how to recover from mis-use of your information.

what do you do if someone says they are from the Federal Trade comm.

If a scammer tells you he's from the FTC, please report it to the FTC. You can go to ftc.gov/complaint to file online, or call 1-877-382-4357.

We received a phone call from a young man saying he was Jordon. Now we have a son named Jordon serving in the Air Force in Canada. My husband answered the call and kept saying boy you got yourself in a mess. I got on the extension and he was saying that he and a friend went to Mexico on a trip and some men tried to rob them. He said he knocked a man and he fell hit his head hard The men got away but "Jordon" and hie friend got arrested.He said he was in jail and if we didnt send $999.99 (which I thought was an odd number) they would be sent to prison. It had to be sent before a certain time. It had to be a money order and sent a certain man (alias I think) and gave instructions on sending it. I asked to speak to the jailer and he said he had stepped out of the room. I wasnt believing any of it as the man didn't have a Canadian accent but my gullible husband had jumped in the truck and headed for the bank before I could stop him. I told the man we had to go to the bank to get the money and we hung up. He called 4 times to see if we got the money. I got the number he called from ( which by the way he said he borrowed the jailers phone as his got lost in the fight and for us NOT to call his celluar number as it wouldnt go thru ??? How dumb.. I called the bank to stop any transaction and they said my husband tried to put his truck up for collateral and he was on the home to get the title. When he came in I explained it was a scam.We called the real Jordon and he was in Canada and on duty..the man called again and my husband said some words and said you are not Jordon and the man hung up. We never heard from him again, but our question was how did he use the name Jordon and our number? Jordon changed his number and ID.
Whenever a phone call like that comes in ask some personal questions . After thinking about this the man never even called us by name!!! I called the phone company and made a complaint and they said the phone number came from Delaware..I kept a record of it....

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