Telemarketers and Door-to-Door Solicitors Wasting Your Time?
They’re allegedly doing a job near you or your spouse encouraged them to call you, or some other such nonsense to prey on you, right?
Clearly it works, people buy, or else the schemes wouldn’t be so profitable as to support more of this.
Sting operations by the state license board suggest that telemarketing and door to door home improvement contractors could be serious criminals. Recently, when a grand jury indicted 13 ‘contractors,’ the mastermind of their operation was a ‘contractor’ from Tarzana. He faced 32 felony counts including grand theft, money laundering, elder abuse and more. His operation, it was reported, “preyed on consumers by selling them home improvement services through a complex network of telemarketers who made hundreds of daily high pressure sales calls – many times contacting the same consumers multiple times – and presenting themselves as different companies with varying home improvement services.” The scam misled consumers into believing the company was licensed, when in fact, the perpetrator was renting licenses from others for a monthly fee. Literally millions of dollars in annual revenue was generated from substandard, never completed, or never performed work.
The state board warns , “It’s more important than ever for consumers to be careful when hiring someone to work in or around their home. Many consumers don’t realize that if something goes wrong, or mistakes are made, they can be 100 percent liable. Scammers have no conscience when it comes to ripping off people,” “They don’t care if the victims are elderly or churches or whether they understand English. They pick out the most vulnerable people without a second thought.”
Last month, the state’s blitz included six simultaneous sting operations. Among the 75 people arrested were registered sex offenders, persons with prior felonies that included robbery, rape, burglary and drug possession, people with arrest warrants, and many others caught using a license belonging to someone else.
We know you’re far too smart to fall for one of these traps, but a gentle reminder, perhaps for someone you know… never let anyone into your home or backyard unless they have been checked out prior, and watch for ‘red flags’ like unsolicited offers (they contacted you first), claims of surplus materials with supposed discounted prices, pressure tactics, reluctance to sign a written contract or a request for upfront cash payment. Toll-free telephone numbers without a local number or brand new vehicles or construction equipment with non-California license plates, can also be a sign of foul play. Even with the best and smartest of intentions it can be tough to say no to what sounds soooo good.