Believe it or not, garage door scams are becoming increasingly more common. They cast a fairly wide net, not discriminating who they target. So long as you’re a homeowner, you’re at risk of being targeted for a scam. And with scammers becoming more and more skilled and creating fancier tricks, it’s become much harder to spot scams at a first glance.
Here are two of the most common methods garage door scammers use to find their victims.
1. Online Ads
Online advertisements are an extremely common way for scammers to get unsuspecting victims. These can show up in the form of paid ads, and these paid ads often appear on legitimate sites. Legit sites offer these ads as a way to get revenue from their website without having to outright sell any goods or services; this is especially common for news sites and blogs. You’ve likely seen many of these sketchy ads for a number of websites and “companies” on websites, below articles, and in between paragraphs. While the tech-savvy among us scroll past those without a second thought, those who aren’t as conscientious of online scams might think that all those ads are from legitimate businesses.
Not only does clicking those links put you at risk for numerous types of malware, but the number and corresponding website to the “business” are all linked to scammers who will just take your money or will send someone out to overcharge you for false or poorly done repairs.
In addition to paid ads, another online ad that scammers can take advantage of faux service ads on websites such as Craigslist. Though more people are wary of products and services on Craiglist, the site still remains to this day a hotspot for people desperate for deals. People on a tight budget might be tempted by the low prices that scam companies put on their ads, and will be willing to take a chance on them.
2. Phone Calls
The tried-and-true method of mass cold-calling still works to this day, and many people are still falling for them. These “companies” hire telemarketers to call every house in an area to offer their services, and by casting such a wide net, they’re sure to get a few hits. Even those who are savvier about finding scams might be fooled by the caller ID, seeing a local area code. However, even the number can’t be trusted. Call masking has become much more sophisticated, and it’s entirely possible for callers from another town, or even state, “borrow” a local person’s phone number to do their cold calls. As a result, when they call your home, you see your own state and town on the ID and think that you’re dealing with a local business.
Just like with online scammers, phone scammers can take your payment information and run with it, or send someone to your home to rack up charges – or charge you for terrible repairs that will need to be redone by a professional.