Tag Archives: Scam

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Seven Summer Scams

Posted on July 25, 2017 by Chris Bjorklund

Along with rising temperatures this summer, we’re going to see a rise in seasonal scams. I’ve been getting warnings from consumer protection agencies about what to watch out for, and I want to pass them on to you. You may have heard of some of these rip-offs before, but be aware that new variations always pop up and can catch even the savviest consumers off guard.

1. Magazine scams
This scam ramps up in the summer with young people going door-to-door selling magazine subscriptions. They claim they’re working their way through college and need to make a certain number of sales to earn points for scholarships. That’s not true. Most of the time, Read more

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Diamond Certified Experts: Helpful Hints for Home Security

Posted on July 11, 2017 by James Florence

If you’re a homeowner, you know there’s no greater priority than security—after all, it’s not only your valuables that are at stake, it’s the safety of yourself and your family. However, like many Bay Area homes, yours may contain unknown deficiencies that pose an increased vulnerability to break-ins. To help ensure your home is as secure as it should be, we’ve asked four Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to provide their professional insights.

Door Hardening
Home security starts at the front (and back) door, so make sure all your doors are adequately reinforced. Blaine Lucas of Foothill Locksmiths, Inc. recommends starting with hardware. Read more

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Moving Targets: Exposing the World of HVAC Scammers

Posted on January 05, 2017 by James Florence

With the many heating and air conditioning companies operating in the Bay Area, it’s natural to assume that some are better than others, with each possessing varying degrees of experience, organization, customer service and technological proficiency. However, when it comes to choosing an HVAC company, there’s more at stake than its level of skill or service: if you’re not careful, you could pick a fraudulent one. Like many service industries, the HVAC industry is rife with dishonest businesses out to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers.

Too outrageous to be true? Not according to Bryant Kearney, service manager at Moore Solar/Heating/Cooling, who is very familiar with the handiwork of these conniving companies. “Scams are a major problem in the HVAC industry,” he affirms. Read more

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Hook, Line and Swindle

Posted on June 23, 2016 by Chris Bjorklund

jay-unplugged-6-17-16My book club just finished reading and discussing a book called I Do Not Come to You by Chance, which is set in Nigeria and written by Nigerian author Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani. What’s fascinating about the story is that it takes the reader inside the world of Nigerian 419 scammers (419 refers to the Nigerian Criminal Code section that deals with fraud, charges and penalties for offenders). Such advance fee scams are simply a confidence trick: the victim is promised a share of a large sum of money in return for a small upfront payment, which the fraudulent operator says is needed to obtain the large sum. More fees may be requested after the first payment, Read more

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Savvy Consumer Tip: Rental Scammers Are Taking Advantage of a Tight Housing Market

Posted on April 01, 2016 by Jennifer Chan

People scrambling to find apartments and rental houses often pay for rental listings. Sadly, some of them find that the lists they buy are worthless. One man paid more than $200 for a list of homes to rent, and when he visited three of the addresses, he discovered they were occupied. Applying for a refund was equally frustrating. The agency said the agreement he signed allowed them to take up to 90 days to issue a refund. Three months later, their phone was disconnected and the company disappeared with his money.

Another common scam is to require people who respond to a phony rental ad to pay for a credit report. The con artists collect a commission or simply keep the fee. Read more

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Savvy Consumer Tip: Hiring Licensed Contractors

Posted on January 26, 2016 by Chris Bjorklund

Do you know how to spot an unlicensed contractor? Watch this video for some helpful tips. Read more

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Posted in: Home Tips
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Can We Put an End to Robocalls?

Posted on July 14, 2015 by Chris Bjorklund

If you hate getting phone calls from telemarketers, you’ve probably done what I’ve done: signed up for the Do Not Call list, which the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) created in 2003. So, why are we still getting illegal robocalls?robotoon

While the Do Not Call registry has reduced the number of unwanted calls from legitimate companies, according to EndRoboCalls.org, the FTC received more than 3 million complaints from annoyed consumers in 2014. (EndRoboCalls.org is an advocacy arm of Consumers Union and Consumer Reports magazine.) Read more

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