Scams targeting house cleaners are everywhere. We Ask a House Cleaner about the popular house cleaning scams and what red flags to look for.
Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru gives tips on scams about identity theft and bank fraud that will leave you jilted, gypped and cheated.
This house cleaner education is a “buyer beware” of those trying to rip you off and steal your identity.
Today’s sponsor is https://HouseCleaning360.com where we connect the savvy cleaner with the savvy homeowner.
Listen: Scams Targeting House Cleaners
Watch: Scams Targeting House Cleaners
Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.
Question: What Scams Targeting House Cleaners?
I got a telephone the other day from a guy who was just frantic. He had been scammed and he wanted to know if there were any recourse and anyway he could recover from the scams and fraud he found himself involved in.
Answer: Scams Targeting House Cleaners Are Everywhere
Here’s what happened. It’s one of the popular scams going on in the house cleaning industry.
There are what we call vacation rentals where people live out of town.
Or they are gone and they call or text you and say, “Hey, I heard that you were a house cleaner in my area. Can you go clean my house and I will send somebody over to pay you?”
They Ask You For Your Driver’s License
They want to make sure that you get your money. So here’s what they do. They ask for your driver’s license.
They say, “I don’t know you from Adam. And I want to know that I can trust you. Will you send me a copy of your driver’s license, so I can verify you are who you say you are?”
Unsuspecting house cleaners will say “No problem.” And text over a picture of their driver’s license. (This one is very popular among house cleaning scams.)
Danger in Giving Driver’s License
Your driver’s license has your home address on it and it has your birthdate and it has a picture of you. Now you are a target for identity theft.
That’s personal information this person does not need in order for you to clean their house.
Then here’s what happens. They set up a date and time for you to go and clean their house. And because they live out of town, they say that they will send someone over with a check.
Now, there are several scams that can happen from here.
Scams Targeting House Cleaners: #1
A realtor is going to come over and give you a key to let you in. The realtor shows up, they give you the key, they let you in.
You go in and clean the house and but no one ever comes over with a check.
You try to get back in touch with the person, but it’s a bum phone number. And you never get paid, so they just got a free cleaning out of you. That’s scam number one.
Scams Targeting House Cleaners: #2
They say, “Well I will send you a check.” They come up with some reason or excuse. “I’m going to send you a bigger check than what the cleaning was worth.”
Let’s say they say, “I’ll pay you $400 for the cleaning.” You were only going to charge $235. So you think you are getting extra money.
They’re not going to send you a check. What they do is they want your bank account information so that they can Western Union you the money.
Do not give them your driver’s license or your bank account information.
Scams Targeting House Cleaners: #3
Here’s the other part of these popular scams. They say “I will send you a check. It will be for $3,500. You’re going to deduct your $400 from the $3,500 and you’re going to send me a check for the difference back. Because I need this to pay the guy that’s doing the repairs on the house,”
And they have some great excuse why they need to do this. What happens is, you cash the check and it clears your bank account. And you turn around and write them their check. For some reason. they cancel the check or something happens, it’s a bogus check.
The funds never clear your account. And now you’re out $3,500 that you’ve sent them plus the $400 they were going to give you. Does that make sense?
Scammers Prey on House Cleaners
It’s a huge scam. These scam artists take advantage of house cleaners that don’t speak English well.
They also take advantage of maids and housekeepers that are new to the industry.
Scams with Jobs “Sight Unseen”
Somebody calls or texts you and they want you to do cleaning sight unseen.
They say going they will give you X amount of dollars for a house you’ve never seen. If they’re dictating the price that’s a red flag.
You are the business owner, you get to dictate the price. You have to look at the house and determine all the variables that will determine the price.
If you think that they’re just going to give you $400 and that’s a heck of a deal, guess what, you’re in for a scam.
They do not get to dictate the price, especially on house sight unseen.
Scams Involving “Personal Information”
They ask you to send them your driver’s license information so they can verify who you are. Or they’ll ask for your home address.
Guess what? People hire house cleaners all the time based on business card and website or maybe your Facebook. That’s all the personal information they need about you.
They do not need your driver’s license.
Scams Involving “Check Cashing”
If they want to pay you that’s fine, you can go to their bank and you can cash the check.
If you have an established relationship with this person you can deposit it in your own bank account.
But this is after you’ve met the person.
Scams Asking for “Money Back”
You’re not going to give them any money back.
Nobody should ask you, “Will you give me money back from a check I’m going to give you?”
No, that’s weird and that’s a scam. Don’t do that.
Scams That Are “Too Good to Be True”
Okay, we don’t do business that way. We do business by job estimates.
Then there’s an agreement where you go through your rules and regulations. And you build a relationship with this person, hoping it’s going to be a long-term account.
If it’s a vacation rental, guess what? They’re going to need house cleaning on a regular basis. The fact that they would do a one-time deal with you it’s a scam.
What I’m suggesting to you is pay attention and be alert. If it sounds too good to be true it is.
How To Avoid Scams
So somebody contacts you this way, “Oh, I’m going through all these life struggles. Yada, yada, yada.”
Here’s my deal you can text them back and I say, “I would love to have a conversation about this face-to-face. I’m going to be in your neighborhood tomorrow”, and then give them a time. “Will you be there so I can meet you face-to-face?”
If they text you back and say, “No, I’ll only do a deal via text”, red flag.
Don’t do it, it’s a scam.
This Happens All the Time
I want to protect you guys from getting scammed because this happens all the time.
Then people call me and they hope I can get them out of the mess they got themselves into.
I’m going to warn you right up front. There are a bunch of scams out there. There’s a bunch of fraudulent activity.
People are trying to cheat you out of your hard-earned money. And they’re preying on new house cleaners that don’t know any better.
Take this as a warning from a good friend. I want to protect you and I don’t want this to happen to you. If it sounds too good to be true, it’s too good to be true.
Alrighty, that’s my two cents for today. And until we meet again leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.
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Resources For This Episode
Outsmarting the Scam Artists: How to Protect Yourself from the Cleverest Cons – http://amzn.to/2FLgpmf
Anatomy of a Ponzi Scheme: Scams Past and Present – http://amzn.to/2FMqWNE
The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It . . . Every Time – http://amzn.to/2DFvxAP
The Con: How Scams Work, Why You’re Vulnerable, and How to Protect Yourself – http://amzn.to/2DcgugJ
Don’t Step in the Trap: How to Recognize and Avoid Email Phishing Scams – http://amzn.to/2DGk7fX
Scams and Swindles: How to Recognize and Avoid Internet Era Rip-Offs – http://amzn.to/2FKXt6N
Learn How NOT to Be Scammed and How to Recognize Them – http://amzn.to/2FKXJCN
Permissions To Share
SAVVY CLEANER – House Cleaner Training and Certification – https://savvycleaner.com
HOUSECLEANING360 – Referral database of the world’s most prominent home service providers and the homeowners they serve. https://housecleaning360.com