Share Your Contractor Scams Via Email with TLA
Your Association occasionally hears from individuals who have been involved with deceitful contractor scams. Over the next few weeks, we will run a short series of articles featuring these experiences while providing in-depth details on the most common contractor scams and how to avoid them.
If you have been a victim of a scam and you would like to share your information, we want to hear from you. Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not call, as we need this information in writing to ensure we do not miss any details. If you would prefer your name not be included when we share your story, please note that in your email, and we are happy to protect your privacy.
Why share this information in written form, you may ask? It is all about triggers and using this emotional response to help people remember, in hopes that they will not repeat the storyteller’s experience. For example, have you ever read an article or heard someone telling a story and experienced an emotional response such as joy, surprise, or even disgust? The storyteller likely used a trigger word or phrase that caused you to feel strongly based on your previous experiences; chances are, this story stayed with you. There are some words and topics that are predictable triggers that affect the vast majority. However, some words can be highly personal and only affect a specific individual. For example, the word “deadline” may not do much for you except to serve as a reminder of when you need to finish that project for work. However, your spouse may break out into a cold sweat every time they hear the word because it reminds them of that time in high school when they got an “F” on their research paper after missing the deadline to turn it in.
Arguably, the word “scam” could be a trigger word for many individuals. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), they received more than 2.1 million fraud reports from consumers in 2020, and a third of all consumers who filed a report with the FTC reported losing money.
You, or someone you know, probably has fallen victim to scam or fraud at some point. Many people think that online scams and phone scams are the only way to be swindled out of their hard-earned money. Even in this digital age, there still are plenty of ways to be scammed the old-fashioned way, and the following are a few examples.
- Scam 1: Upfront payments - Your contractor said he needed 50% of the project upfront to order materials and rent equipment. After you paid, he stopped returning your calls.
- Scam 2: Extra materials - A contractor knocked on your door claiming to have extra materials from a job down the street. Since he could not return the materials, he offered them to you at a great price.
- Scam 3: “That wasn’t part of my price” - When you discussed the project, you mentioned a couple of ideas that did not make it into the contract. You figured it was not a big deal since you had a clear verbal understanding with the contractor. The contractor told you later those upgrades were not included in the price.
Let’s work together to get the word out on contractor scams and protect ourselves and our neighbors. We look forward to your emails!