Diamond Certified Blog

Tag Archives: Scam

Moving Targets: Exposing the World of HVAC Scammers

When looking for an HVAC company, trustworthiness is one of the most important attributes to consider. Photo: Ortiz Heating and Air Conditioning (2016)

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. Continue reading “Moving Targets: Exposing the World of HVAC Scammers” »

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Savvy Consumer Tip: Hiring Licensed Contractors

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

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Mind Games: The Psychology of Scamming

The best way to avoid a scam is to be hypercritical when making significant financial decisions.

The best way to avoid a scam is to be hypercritical when making significant financial decisions.

Several weeks ago, I received a phone call from a representative who told me we had failed to pay for our newspaper subscription since September. He said I could pay the past due amount by credit card along with another three months in advance: a total of $400. I was so embarrassed about being late on the bill that I almost fell for the scam. Just a few days later, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a full-page ad warning subscribers that this particular company wasn’t authorized to offer renewals (almost double the usual amount) and to ignore the calls and notices sent by mail. Continue reading “Mind Games: The Psychology of Scamming” »

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Savvy Consumer Tip: Identifying Home Improvement Scams

Watch this video to learn about the warning signs of a home improvement scam.

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Savvy Consumer Tip: Preventing Credit Card Fraud

Preventing credit card fraud is all about being careful. Watch this video to learn some useful tips.

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Savvy Consumer Tip: Beware of Magazine Subscription Scams

To avoid falling for a magazine subscription scam, make sure you know the warning signs to look for.

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Savvy Consumer Tip: How to Avoid a Phony Check Scheme

Watch this video to learn how to avoid falling for a phony check scheme.

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The Worst Unlicensed Contractors in California

Picture a previously convicted unlicensed contractor who pled guilty to six felony charges, including elder abuse, grand theft and diversion of construction funds. Does this sound like someone you’d want to hire to work on your home? Of course not…but the man described above currently has an active arrest warrant for failure to appear in court, which means he’s still at large and could potentially prey on vulnerable, unsuspecting homeowners. Continue reading “The Worst Unlicensed Contractors in California” »

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Watch Out for Painters Who Take Shortcuts

A quality paint job always starts with a thorough prep job. Recently I had 5 rooms in a small cottage painted and it took the painter more than 2 weeks of prep work before he even applied the primer! Greg Kuzmicki, owner of Solidarity Painting, Waterproofing & Restoration says too many painters cut corners by not prepping thoroughly and rushing through the job.

Mr. Kuzmicki thinks homeowners should be on the lookout for dry rot in particular. He says, “Most painters paint over dry rot because they just don’t notice it, but more often they just want to finish the job, get paid for it, and move on to the next job. This can be very costly to the homeowners in the future.” To be on top of things for your next painting project, know where your home has dry rot and inform the painting contractor. Check out areas around the windows, the trim and roof lines.

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Dent Repair Scammers Target Females

You’ll be approached in a parking lot at one of the big discount stores. The dent repair impostor offers to fix a dent or scratch on the spot while you’re shopping. Bill Davis, owner of DentPro of Salinas & Santa Cruz, a Diamond Certified company, says when you come back to your car, it’s covered with white paste or wax. “They’ll tell you it needs to cure for about 4 hours.” Once you remove the paste later that day (you have to pay in advance for the repair), you’ll discover cracks in the paint or that very little was done to the car. You can’t track down the scammers either; the company business card has no phone number or address. So without a paper trail, you have no recourse other than to report the scammers to the authorities. Mr. Davis tells me he gets calls every week reporting the same modus operandi. Warn your girlfriends, so they won’t get ripped off.

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