Times are tough—and as a result, scammers are everywhere: online, over the phone, and even in person. They’re out to steal your hard-earned money and vanish, leaving you with no way to get it back.
Every year, millions of Americans fall for a variety of different types of scams—like those that steal money or gather personal information to be used for identity theft. Scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and scammers are very well-practiced at getting reluctant people to part with their money or personal information. Some scams are so complex that the victim has no idea he or she has been scammed until much later.
While you might think that you would never fall for a scam, it’s always a good idea to be cautious. (Better safe than sorry!) Let’s look at one scam we believe you need to know about: the windshield repair or replacement scam.
How Windshield Repair Scams Work
A typical windshield repair or replacement scam goes something like this: a nice-looking stranger approaches you at a car wash or gas station. He tells you that he’s conducting a free inspection of every car coming through. Lo and behold, he finds that your windshield is damaged, and he says he is willing to fix it at no cost to you. He’ll even work directly with your insurance company to make it easier for you. Your windshield seems fine to you, but you’re not an auto glass expert. The man looks official (he might be wearing a uniform), so you agree to call the number that he gives you. You talk to a “third-party representative” of your insurance company and give them your information. By the time you’re done, your windshield is repaired. You drive off, thinking you just made a smart decision.
This type of scam works on many people because it doesn’t seem like a scam. After all, you got a new or repaired windshield without parting with anything other than your insurance information. So what’s the problem?
The first part of this scam involves collecting your insurance information. With this information, the scammer can overcharge your insurance company or even charge multiple times for work that was never performed. Although this part of the scam doesn’t take money directly out of your pocket, you will pay for it eventually through insurance premium hikes.
The second part of this scam involves the windshield repair or replacement itself. What are the odds that a scammer did a good job repairing your windshield? The scammer might have repaired your windshield improperly or used an inferior product. He might have done nothing at all! That means that the windshield is now a safety risk, and you’ll need to get it fixed—for real.
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself
The good news is that this is an easy scam to avoid when you know what to do.
Always remember the saying, “If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.” Be wary of unsolicited offers or “too-good-to-be-true” deals, and just say “no” to a salesperson or technician who approaches you in public (like at a car wash).
If your windshield is actually damaged, make sure to work with a reputable auto glass repair company. There are several ways to determine whether or not the company you’re dealing with is honest. You can look at the company’s information. Do they have an actual address—not a P.O. box? Are their technicians trained, certified, and insured? Do they offer a guarantee of their work? You can also look the company up online and read their reviews. Do other people in your town have good things to say about them? If the company passes these tests, you can proceed.
Finally, after your windshield has been repaired, it’s important to double-check your bill. Is all the information correct? (For example, does the name of the repair company match the one you hired?) Is the bill for work that was actually done? (For example, if you just had a chip fixed, make sure that the bill isn’t for a whole new windshield.)
We Guarantee Our Repair and Replacement
Here at Jack’s Glass, we pride ourselves on a job well done. Our experienced and certified technicians use only Auto Glass Safety Council-approved materials and procedures. In addition, our work is 100 percent guaranteed. (To see what previous customers have said about us, feel free to look at our reviews.)