NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Better Business Bureau is preparing for an increase in home industry-related scams. Lately, home inspectors have reported an increase in scammers giving fraudulent checks in the hopes of receiving money back.
It’s a fairly simple scam. A home inspector will receive a message asking for their services, but when the alleged client sends the check, it never clears.
“My name is Jason Samuel. I am wanting to know if you are available,” read Michael Daggett, a home inspector. “On a house that I am interested in purchasing. Let me know if you can get it done, and get back to me with your quote.”
It starts with a text message from a fake person, claiming to want a home inspection done. It’s a pretty common request, which is why it can be easy to fall for this scam.
“We’ll schedule the home inspection and then they will immediately send over a check, but when you look at the check it will be $50 or $25 over what the actual inspection cost is,” explained Daggett.
That money can quickly add up. The scammer will then ask the inspector to send the difference in money back to them before the original check clears. Daggett is the owner of Inspector Daggett and has been working in the industry for years. He told News 2 this type of scam is peaking across Middle Tennessee. He even spoke with another inspector in the Mt. Juliet area, who received the exact same message.
“I’ve seen it in the past, but it seems there is an uptick recently. So, I’m not sure if they are trying to canvass just Nashville or maybe they are just going everywhere,” said Daggett.
It’s a scam the Better Bussiness Bureau is now alerting others about.
“So, this time of year we usually see an uptick of scams that are targeting home industries and home improvement and those sort of areas,” explained Caleb Nix with the Better Business Bureau in Middle Tennessee & Southern Kentucky.
Nix explained as the temperature gets warmer, more people are out looking for homes and making home improvements. However, fake check scams are something they are always on the lookout for.
“A scammer will take advantage of this period where it looks like you have this money in your account but it’s actually not really there, to ask you to repay the money or send money onto some other vendor for them because they overpaid on that item,” explained Nix.
Middle Tennesee is an easily targeted area. With more people moving in, scammers are constantly looking for ways to trick people out of money.
“Scammers are always looking at the headlines, and they might see that Nashville is a booming industry tat’s having a lot of construction happening right now, and they are going to take not of that, and so it’s very likely that this is just the beginning fo this season,” said Nix.
The BBB suggests businesses research and verify who they are receiving a check from and to meet with a potential client in person if possible.