It’s Okay to be (a little) Paranoid: Being Conscious of Service Scams
Hiring a service professional can be a difficult decision. Not only do you have to be comfortable with letting someone you never met fix a problem for you, but you have to trust that they don’t have some hidden motive. Unfortunately, there are service scams that can be used against unsuspecting customers. By being aware of the service scams that exist and hiring professionals from the right places, you can avoid service scams and have a positive experience with whoever you end up hiring.
Common Service Scams
Due to our increased reliance on technology, the demand for tech savvy professionals has increased over the years. Tech support has become an increasingly common service profession, however, among the increasing number of tech support professionals are those who aren’t out for your best interest. The following service scam is commonly used in the tech support industry:
You get a phone call, pop-up, or email informing you there is a problem with your computer
The scammers might pretend to be from a well known tech company like Microsoft or Apple. They will use technical terms to convince you that the problems they claim are impacting your computer are real. They will likely ask you to run a scan on your computer, and then tell you that the scan showed that there is a problem, but in reality there is no problem at all.
The scammers are hoping to gain access to your money, personal information, your files and data through your computer. Under the guise of helping fix your computer, the scammers will do one of the following:
- Ask that you provide them with remote access to your computer, enabling them to access all of the information you have stored on it.
- Try to enroll you in a computer maintenance program that is ultimately worthless and costs you money.
- Install malware, giving them access to your computer and data like your passwords and user names.
- Ask for your credit card information. They will then bill you for fake services that they never did.
- Try to sell you repair services that are fake and not worth anything, or that can likely be found for free somewhere else.
- Direct you to websites that ask for your credit card and/or bank account information so they can have access to your finances.
Government Grant Scams
There are other service scams as well, like government grant scams. Government grant scammers promise you a grant to cover costs related to home repairs. They then ask for your checking account information and claim that they will deposit the grant money into your account. Government grants are rarely awarded to individuals, as they usually go to organizations such as local governments or universities. For this reason, you should assume that anyone promising government grants to you is just trying to scam you.
Government grant scams and tech support scams are just two of the ways that people can falsely provide you with a service, when in reality they are just trying to gain access to your money or personal information. Both of these are service scams because they each can be perpetrated by people pretending to be service professionals. Anyone searching for a home repair professional or tech support professional could encounter one of these scams.
You hire someone to complete repairs, and instead they run off with your money
Have you ever hired someone to do repairs on your home, only to have them run off with your money before the job was finished, or before it was even started? If they leave with your money after starting the job and before it’s finished, your home can be left in a completely unlivable state.
According to the Better Business Bureau, service scams like this one are on the rise.
Bait and Switch Plumbing Scam
One common scam sometimes used by plumbers is similar to the common bait and switch. They will convince you that you are getting the best possible product, but then they actually install an inferior, low cost product. Ultimately they charge you for the more expensive product, pocketing the profit.
But, if you search for service professionals in the right place, you can avoid the potential of getting scammed entirely!
Avoid Service Scams By Hiring On OneBook
If you are searching for a local service professional in your area and want to avoid the scammers, hire on OneBook. To be able to list their services on OneBook, service professionals have to go through a multi-step vetting process, so you know if you hire on OneBook, you will be hiring a real service professional who is an expert in their field. You can also hire, schedule, and pay your professional (safely) all through the OneBook platform
By enabling scheduling, you know when to expect the professional to arrive at your home. All fees are determined up front, and payments are made directly through OneBook’s secure platform, eliminating any chance that you will be asked for more personal information than is needed for payment. You will never be asked by OneBook or any of the professionals we work with to provide access to your bank account login information.
Hiring on OneBook is the easy and hassle free way to hire service professionals from a variety of different industries. Check out the services our pros offer here!