Contracts are generally made for the sellers advantage and not the buyer. Cross out
any items doesn't look just right. If you don't you can be a victim which can put you into a place
you might not want to be.

  • Don't worry, its a standard contract

  • Asked to sign a contract that is not fully filled out

  • High pressure sale/must sign up now or never

  • Offer good for today only

  • No written information is available about the company

  • No address or telephone number available

  • Asks you to get the required permits

  • Free or cheap services or upgrades

  • Working in your neighborhood/ Materials left over from another job

  • Want to use your home as a model


  • Rewritten Contracts/backdating contracts

  • Can help you finance the project

  • Low ball prices

  • Only accept cash

  • Offered unsolicited design or construction work

  • Tries to make you switch from your existing company

  • Asks if you have a security system

  • Changes the advertised price once discussions start

  •  Adds optional equipment that youre not told is optional

  • Discount if you find other customers



Precautions You Should Take   TOP

  • There is no such thing as a standard contract except within a specific company. Its generally an attempt to dissuade you from reading the contract.

  • A company should never require a customer to pay office or legal fees before any evaluation or work is done.

  • Get full business documentation and verify all details such as license, bond, insurance and references.

  • Companies that inform you that you automobile warranty has or is about to expire and state they will extended it for a fee, should be carefully investigated. Many of these companies are scams.


Home Buying Or Repairs That Can Leave You In Trouble, Here Are Some Warnings   TOP

  • Do not be rushed into making a deal.  Get estimate in writing prior to a formal bid proposal.

  • Must agree to meet federal, state and local laws and ordinances.

  • Check out a designer's or builder's reputation including a credit check, Better Business Bureau, proof of insurance or bond coverage for the full replacement cost of work.

  • Don't sign an agreement unless you understand and feel comfortable about it, and have it reviewed relative to contract law.

  • Use a professional plan examiner and field inspector to look for code compliance standards and performance.

  • Consider having pre-construction contract language for building compliance standards, independent performance quality inspections and possibly longer warranties written into the contracts.

  • Become familiar with the services offered by the American Arbitration Association (http://www.adr.org)prior before signing any agreement.

  • The more upfront money you pay a designer or builder, the less leverage you have over the deal. Make progress payments for services/products delivered on the basis of what's been completed or installed.

  • Know your rights as a consumer regarding your state's lien laws.

  • Make checks out as a "dual-signer" check to both contractor and supplier/sub-contractor.

  • Specify the length of time you are protected against defects in design, workmanship, major structural defects and what action is available for breach of contract.

  • If they must have payments up front make sure there has been created a payment schedule.

  • Have your contract specify how problems are handled within the contract.

Buying Or Leasing An Automobile Pitfalls And Problems   TOP
  • Determine if lenders are giving kickbacks to dealers for charging high interest car loan rates (difference between bank rates and offered rate.)

  • The dealer offers to take your current car as a trade in, pay off your loan balance on that vehicle (no matter how much is still owed) and lease you a better car than the one you have for lower payments. The deal is probably a poor one.

  • The dealer offers to pay the remaining lease payments on your existing lease in exchange for a new lease. Usually the dealer is not taking over responsibility for the entire lease, only the rest of the payments. Any problems with the car from the time you turn it in may be still yours.

  • The dealer gives you a lease interest rate, but it has a problem. The real lease rate is 240 times the quoted rate, i.e. 4% or .04 x 240 = 9.6%.

  • Dealer may stress the flexibility of leasing versus purchasing by promising early withdrawal or changing cars anytime is not true. Leasing actually makes it more difficult to change cars and usually doesn't allow for swapping cars.

  • Lease payments are generally lower than purchasing only to those who drive less than 15,000 miles a year and live close to the dealer.

  • Leasing for five years as opposed to two or three years,  exposes you to potential expensive repair costs that aren't covered after the warranty expires.

  • Leasing shows up as a legal responsibility on your credit report just like any other debt commitment.

  • Leasing a new car and then purchasing it, is usually more expensive than just purchasing it at the very beginning, check your figures carefully.

  • Do not add extended warranties, maintenance contracts, paint protection, rust proofing or window etching to a leased car.

  • Check that you're. not buying a used or salvaged vehicle that was totaled, e.g. www.carfax.com

  • Never accept verbal repair estimates.

  • Beware of padded bills for repairs. Get multiple estimates.

  • Make sure installed parts are not counterfeit, substandard or used, while charge you for expensive new parts (look at boxes and invoice).

  • Unusually low repair prices may be a sign of poor service or parts.

  • Your insurer should have a list of preferred body shops in your area.

  • Shop offers to help you recover or waive your deductible.

Fitness/Health Clubs Scams Abound   TOP

  • When  products advertise  you can get astonishing results without a lot of hard work, don't fall for it.

  • It's a "red flag" if a product promises you can lose two pounds or more a week, by blocking calories, fat absorption or by wearing a product.

  • Beware of systems that rely on gimmicks or claim to work by isolating muscle groups.

  • Watch out for mechanical products that cannot adjust to fit various body sizes.

  • Some abdominal machines performed no better than doing crunches on the floor free of charge.

  • In general, CR magazine found that the more expensive the machine, the better its quality and effectiveness.

  • If you sign a month-to-month membership, keep a copy so that the company can't say you signed another one which was a longer term.

  • If you have problems, contact your state's Attorney General.

  • Celebrity or Athlete endorsements have no more knowledge or understanding of the product they endorse than a layperson. Furthermore they are being paid handsomely to convince you in to buying.

  • The "Advertorial" is a scam in which the advertisement is presented as being an unbiased article on nutrition, fitness, etc. often from a "respectable" paid source.

Pest Control   TOP

  • Yellow pages may show there is no company in your town. They may be farmed out to non-licensed companies.

  • Inquire if your friends are satisfied with their pest control company before  selecting one..

  • Don't let a new company into your house without without a background check on the company. You may be a victim of theft.

  • If a company representative comes to your doors and says you have termites and try to get you to sign a contract quickly, just say "goodbye."

  • Be careful if you are promised that in a period of 3 months, bed bugs and cockroaches will be zero  or the pest control will be free until the issue is resolved. Have it in writing!

  • Pest and termite control Scams commonly increase after bad weather or a disaster. Be wary of any company that operates door-to-door, uses scare tactics to get your business or offers a deal that is only good if signed immediately.

  • Termite Bonds vary widely. Some just kill the pests, others also repair the damage.

Alarm Companies   TOP


  • Employed by out-of-state companies, a person may represent themselves as employees of a local security company and "trick" you into signing a contract. Later you may receive bills from two separate alarm companies.

  • Some companies contacts will stipulate that even though you paid for the system, they own it for 36 months and after that they own the control panels forever. Their prices are no lower than those companies that say you own it outright.

"Walk-Up To House" Scams   TOP


  • "I have materials left over from another job."  

  • "I want cash up front! Creat a payment schedule at the beginning."

  • "I just happen to be in your neighborhood working on a nearby home."


NOTICE: We provide this Encyclopedia as a public service. Unfortunately we do not have the manpower to answer all of your emails or questions on specific topics. We, therefore, do not post our telephone number or address as all our communications are through email.

copyright   2011 - www.stopthescam.org 

Privacy Policy

Legal Statement