As temperatures continue to rise, so do the chances of running into a few summer time scams. Below are five purchases that could leave a burning feeling in your wallet if you aren’t careful:
1. Fly-by-Night Repair Services. The 2011 hurricane season is here, and there is always a chance Texas will be hit by a major storm. In the event your home is damaged, be cautious of repair companies requiring large upfront payments before they begin work. Always thoroughly review any contract before signing it.
2. Door-to-Door Alarm and Magazine Sales. Some businesses can be pushy, but ask yourself if you really need what the rep is selling. Before you make a purchase on your doorstep, check out the company on your smartphone at m.bbb.org.
3. Energy Audit Scams. Beware of unsolicited letters or phone calls that promise you can save money on your energy bills through a free in-home audit. Often these audits turn out to be anything but free and are used to try and sell you other home improvement products.
4. Moving Companies. Summer is a peak time to move while children are out of school. Unfortunately, many people complain their items are damaged, lost or held hostage by their movers. Before hiring movers, check with your local BBB and also make sure the movers are licensed with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
5. “Free Trial” Offers. Items like diet pills, acai berry supplements and other weight loss products are heavily advertised during the summer with “free” trials. Buried in the terms and conditions of many of these offers is a negative option where the company can begin charging you monthly if you don’t cancel within the trial period. Make sure you understand what you are purchasing before agreeing to have something shipped to you.