I just received a call from a past customer, probably one of the strangest phone calls I can remember. She said that a gentleman had showed up at her house in an un-marked truck, claiming to have been sent to do some repairs on her driveway. (We had came out last year to repair the driveway). He said he had been sent by “the company” and that the materials would be free, but he would have to charge for the labor. He also said he needed her to go in the house and get him a bucket of hot water. Luckily, she found reasons to be skeptical, and asked him to leave. And even more luckily, he obliged.
She called us immediately afterward to make sure that we had not sent anyone, and of course we wouldn’t send Vince on a service call unless the homeowner requested the service. As far as I know, no company offers this sort of unwarranted “routine maintenance”.
I can imagine that this scam might work on less skeptical homeowners, though. The scammer would most likely have a way with words, and construct the conversation so that you reveal the name of your contractor first before he says it. And then he can easily go along with the story.
Company workers should drive marked vehicles when possible, and without a doubt wear company t-shirts to try and avoid any inkling of confusion or suspicion a homeowner might have.
From my conversation with the homeowner, it was not my impression that this guy was going around pretending to be with “Kopke”, per se, but is just using the general term “the company”.
If someone like this shows up at your house, I would recommend writing down the license plate number and reporting them to the police.
It sure seems like a new scam is invented every single day, doesn’t it? If only we spent this time figuring out ways to bring joy to strangers instead….
If you know of any other Home-Improvement related scams that we should watch out for, please post them in the comments section. For reference, this incident occurred on Outer Drive in Detroit, MI.