Top 5 frauds sweeping the country

Know how to protect yourself from fraudulent service providers.

Know how to protect yourself from fraudulent service providers.

by and

Every January, Angie's List Magazine offers a look at some of the worst contractors in the country, and for 2010 we decided to take it a step further by highlighting some of the ongoing scams we identified during our research. Hopefully, our efforts will help you avoid getting snookered by shady service providers who publish misleading ads, employ deceptive sales tactics, deliver shoddy service or take the money and run.

These cases caught our attention in the last year due to the high volume of consumer complaints and subsequent enforcement actions. They include air duct cleaners accused of luring customers with too-good-to-be-true coupons, aggressive door-to-door alarm salesmen, allegedly lawless locksmiths, real estate floppers and Internet car sales scammers.

Learn more about the top 5 frauds by reading the stories below:

  1. Beware of air duct cleaners who 'blow and go'
  2. Locksmith complaints stem from upselling, false advertising
  3. Be alarmed by some shady security salesmen
  4. Short sale fraud turns up in down housing market
  5. Don't get run over by online car scams


Holmes on Holmes / Mike Holmes is based out of Canada, not the US.

Your advice is usually spot on. I've given you updates on some contractors I've used;however, I wish you'd include in your monthly booklet sources in the North Bay. SF and South Bay do no good for us north of SF.

Why don't you tell people how to find a reputable company to clean air ducts? That would be more helpful than just saying "expect to pay this much."

1) it seems Angie's list does not cover all areas of the USA! Does anagie's list have a number for Mike Holmes from ( holmes on Homes show )? If so email it to me please !

the bigest scanm is the lds church stay away its not true

I followed the links to the longer articles and found it interesting that locksmiths and alarm company salesmen are cheating people. I wouldn't trust air duct or online car sales in any case. The short sale fraud isn't really relevant to me as a consumer (unless I'm considering speculating in real estate)

Catherine and Harris...I'd agree if what is seen above was all there was to the article, but did you click on each of the 5 frauds listed to read the full articles? Just wondering, because those were pretty in-depth and useful.

I agree with Catherine. This all generalities and no substance.

A bunch of generalities. No substance.

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