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 VOL. 6, ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2013

In This Issue

These Scammers Need a Grammar Lesson

Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer Card

Exceptions, Conditions and Exclusions in Roofing Warranties

Consumer Feedback:
The Painting Pros

New Diamond Certified

Savvy Tips of the Month

Beware of Magazine Scams

Three Essential Aspects of Moving

Hiring Licensed Contractors

Diamond Certified Quick Links






Read this newsletter and prior issues at Diamond Certified Newsletter Twitter

These Scammers Need a Grammar Lesson

  poor speller
Be suspicious if you get a solicitation email with lots of grammar and spelling errors.

Are you getting lots of spam emails these days? Take a look at this one. I kept the exact wording to show you some of the tactics being used to snare unsuspecting consumers.

“Dear Chris
Please be informed that you are subject to a penalty for not filling the income tax returns by the deadline in January, 2013Please pay attention that IRS [Section 6062(b)(4)] determines a monetary penalty to the amount of $7,000 for each [Form 5430] that is sent on the expiry of due date stipulated for filling the income tax return, or does not contain exhaustive data determined in [Section 6051(b)(8)]The exemption from the penalty would be granted on condition that the tax payer proves that the late filling was based on ample grounds.More information can be found here (please follow this link)Reagrds,Internal Revenue ServicesDepartment of Treasure, TX”

Now, you might be thinking, who wouldn’t be suspicious of such a poorly written email that’s loaded with grammar, punctuation and spelling errors? I hope most of us would quickly delete this email with a push of the “junk” button. The tone, wording and mistakes are deliberate—an intentional part of the sender’s strategy. These scammers target people who respond to scare tactics, have little education and/or may not have a good command of the English language. They’re zeroing in on the gullible and vulnerable. They know people who click on the link are likely to be trusting and give out financial information without asking enough questions in advance, which makes it possible to steal their identities.

If you’re tempted to respond to one of these unsolicited emails, here are a few dos and don’ts:

  1. Never connect with a financial institution that sends an unsolicited email. Instead, open another browser and go to the real website before entering your password.
  2. Never use the same password for casual sites as you do for financial institutions. Use a unique password for each financial institution.
  3. Change your passwords frequently.
  4. Keep antivirus, firewall and spyware protection up-to-date on all computers.
  5. Delete messages that ask you to verify account information, such as for a bank, a credit card or PayPal. Don’t click on the links and don’t fall for the scare tactics.
  6. Review bank and credit card statements closely to identify transactions that aren’t legitimate. Immediately report any suspicious activity to your financial institution.
  7. Eliminate what security experts call “pocket litter”—the items you carry around that give valuable information to crooks (e.g., you might have passwords or your social security number in your cell phone address book).
  8. Check out questionable mail, email or telephone offers through these three websites:, and the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

    Chris Bjorklund signature
    Chris BjorklundChris Bjorklund
    The Savvy Consumer

Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer Card

Diamond Certified® Preferred Customer Card

Have you signed up to become a Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer? Membership is always free and comes with numerous benefits, including a special member hotline, members-only access to additional tools on, a double Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee and more. Join now to get a free copy of the 2013 Diamond Certified Directory! Visit to get started.

Exceptions, Conditions and Exclusions in Roofing Warranties

  roofing warranty
A recent roofing project by Bay 101 Roofing

You might be thrilled to hear that a roofing company is offering a lifetime warranty on its shingles or other roofing materials. But what’s in the fine print? David Imhof, manager of Bay 101 Roofing, Inc., a Diamond Certified company, says consumers are often shocked to find out that some warranties can be voided. “Most warranties are only valid if they’re installed on what’s called a ‘clean deck installation,’ which means there are no layers of material underneath the one that’s being installed.”

Another pitfall is when the lifetime warranty isn’t honored unless you use a qualified installer. “The only way to get a non-prorated warranty that fully covers the entire roofing system (including labor) is to use a company that’s factory-certified,” explains Mr. Imhof. “Non-certified companies can’t offer these warranties.” So, before accepting a lifetime warranty on your roof, ask lots of questions and get out your magnifying glass for the fine print.


Kudos from Diamond Certified Consumers

Re: The Painting Pros

Dear Diamond Certified,

The Painting Pros finished our two-story stucco and wood house last week and it looks great. They not only met our expectations, they exceeded them. On the wood where they scraped, they filled all cracks and primed before painting. They arrived on time each morning, were courteous and cleaned up at the end of every shift. I would highly recommend them. If we have more painting to do, we’ll hire them again. —J.B.

Diamond Certified ® Only companies rated Highest in Quality earn Diamond Certified

Companies Recently Earning Diamond Certified

High Definition Solar

Concord - (925) 399-1919

MARIN county
At Your Service
San Rafael - (415) 493-8986

All City Locksmith
San Francisco - (415) 493-8984

House Mold Inspectors

San Mateo - (650) 648-3924

National Color Auto Paint, Inc.
San Bruno - (650) 648-3920

Concrete Demo Works
San Jose - (408) 827-8944

American Ratings Corporation - Diamond Certified • 504 Redwood Blvd. • Suite 210 Novato, California 94947 • (877) 312-1307
©2013 American Ratings Corporation  














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