Scam Texts from Potential Fake Customers: A Growing Problem for House Painters and Home Remodeling
Actualizado: 2 abr
Skyrocket increase of Scam Texts from Potential Fake Customers in 2023.
According to a report by the Better Business Bureau, scam texts from potential fake customers have grown since 2020.
The report found that scammers are increasingly using text messages to target house painters and home remodeling contractors through texts.
In this article you learn to:
1. Understanding the prevalence of scam texts from potential fake customers
2. How house painters and home remodeling contractors are targeted by scam texts from potential fake customers
3. The consequences of falling victim to a scam text from a potential fake customer
4. Defensive strategies for house painters and home remodeling contractors against scam texts from potential fake customers
5. How these fake texts look like
6. Tips to uncover that they are fake text scams
7. Recommended course of action upon receiving a scam text from a potential fake customer
Understanding the prevalence of scam texts from potential fake customers:
Scam texts from potential fake customers are unsolicited messages sent to house painters and home remodeling contractors with malicious intent.
These messages seem to come from legitimate prospective clients seeking their services, but in reality, they are crafted by scammers trying to extract personal or financial information or even steal money from you without even noticing it, but when you do it's too late.
How do scammers make money?
Let's review one of the most recent fishing scams General Maintenance Service LLC recently received as a text this week in 2023.
As seen in the above image, they send you a text convincing you that they found you on Google, Yelp or even on your own website.
They will ask for a quote requesting you to go to a specific address and by only looking or inspecting a house from outside, you should be able to come up with a potential estimate for the project.
Text scammers remain unrelenting in their efforts to deceive business owners, employing various strategies to maintain the element of surprise.
One particularly insidious tactic involves sending an array of texts from multiple phone numbers, inundating their targets with messages:
Here is how they make money if you:
let's say you give them a quote for painting the exterior of the house in case of house painters or to change the siding for those who are general contractors or handyman's.
Hint #1 that it's a scam:
The quote is $7,000, and without hesitation or negotiation the scammer pretending to be a potential customer immediately agrees to it.
Here is how they make money of you:
They will ask you for your home or business address to send you a cashier's check or certified check. This by itself is hint #2 as we all know that no body will pay you in full without meeting with you face to face [in person first] unless it is referred by somebody.
Hint#3: when you ask to meet face to face at the address provided by the [fake potential customer] they will come up with a bunch of excuses such as including:
1. They are currently out of town or traveling for business or personal reasons.
2. A sudden illness or emergency has arisen, preventing them from meeting in person.
3. The property or residence they want work on is occupied by tenants, making it inconvenient to schedule a face-to-face meeting.
4. They are experiencing difficulties with their schedule or have prior commitments, causing constant rescheduling or postponements.
5. They prefer handling all communication through text messages, calls, or emails for convenience, privacy, or other reasons.
6. They claim to have a hearing impairment, suggesting that a face-to-face meeting would be challenging or unproductive and preferring to communicate via text messages or emails instead.
7. They assert that they are currently hospitalized, making it impossible for them to meet in person and preferring to communicate through texts or emails to discuss the project.
This practice has not stopped and will continue as per recent statistics, an increasing number of house painters and contractors have reported being targeted by scammers, with some even receiving fraudulent checks from imposters posing as customers.
Few testimonials from business owners that too got fake text scam:
Hint#4 is a scam: text from a out of state:
An incoming text message originating from an out-of-state zip code may suggest a potential scam, as scammers often employ various methods, such as using different contact numbers or internet-based services, to conceal their actual location and identity.
Hint#5 is a scam: lot of grammar errors:
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is vigilantly raising awareness among professional painters regarding the modus operandi of scammers in the industry.
For a comprehensive understanding of these deceptive techniques, consult the informative image presented below:
Why are house painters and home remodeling contractors targeted by scam texts from?
Scammers exploit the fact that many house painters and home remodeling contractors might need quick cash, making them vulnerable targets.
In the face of ongoing scams targeting professionals across various sectors, including painters, many continue to receive fraudulent solicitations despite growing awareness about deceptive practices.
Let’s take a look in the image below, at another business owner targeted by these text scammers:
Once the the scammer with the fishing text accomplished the goal of sending the check to the address provided by the painter or contructing company, they will pretend
To make the mistake of sending more than they agreed upon.
You charge $7,000 and you get a check for $15,000?
The scammer will then come up with the lie of saying that it made a mistake and for the inconvenient, they will give you $2,000 as tip if you send them back the additional $6,000 via online transfer.
The scammer fishing attempt works out:
You make the mistake of believing the scammer lie and after going to the bank to deposit the fake check, you go home and transfer the remaining $6000 perhaps in 2 different transactions in different days to be under the transfer limit permitted by Zelle or Venmo.
The money is gone!
A week after you deposited the check, you are contacted by the bank who notifies you that the check deposit of $15,000 has been returned unpaid as the item turned out to be a fraudulent check.
By this time the sacmmer made a total of $6,000 from you and your bank account is not only negative -$15,000, but this action will create a red flag from your bank towards you and every time you deposit a big check the bank will now place a hold which could potentially be a long one.
How else are they fishing nowadays?
According to The Better Business Bureau (BBB) they are on high alert, and actively seeking to educate professional painters about the tactics scammers use in their deceptive practices.
To better understand these strategies, please refer to the detailed information provided in the image below:
Fraudsters send texts claiming to be from potential clients requesting their services and might include links to phony websites where the victims are asked to provide personal or payment details.
The consequences of falling victim to a scam text from a potential fake customer:
Becoming a victim of scam texts can result in identity theft or financial losses. Perpetrators can use personal information to open credit cards or take out loans under the victim's name, and acquire payment details to drain bank accounts.
Defensive strategies for house painters and home remodeling contractors against scam texts from potential fake customers:
Protecting against scam texts requires
vigilance and the following precautions:
- Exercise caution when receiving texts
requesting personal or payment information.
- Avoid clicking links in suspicious text messages.
- Verify the legitimacy of the sender by contacting the company or organization directly rather than through provided links.
- Report suspicious texts to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Recommended course of action upon receiving a scam text from a potential fake customer:
If a scam text is suspected, take the following steps:
#1 [block the number immediately!]
iPhone business owners: Check the video below for steps by step to how to block a scam phone number.
Android business owners: Check the video below for steps by step to How to stop spam calls on Android for free.
#2 Report text as junk
*This action will delete and block the spam number.
After clicking [report junk] do the following:
press [delete and report junk]
Well done! The scammer number has been deleted and block forever!
Always remember to: - Refrain from clicking on any links or providing personal or payment information.
- Verify the sender's legitimacy by contacting the company or organization through official channels.
- Report the scam text to the FTC, which can be done by filing a complaint online at ftc.gov/complaint.
Read additional painter testimonies, and their experiences with scammers at the online home painting community kneeing as Paint Talk