Times are tough and most people reckon that they are going to get a great deal harder. This is bad news for the general public. There are plenty of scams going around at any one time as it is, but it gets worse when people begin to feel financially insecure. Some of the costliest frauds are in the construction and home improvement market.
Termite inspection comes under this category as does termite inspection fraud and termite inspection fraud is on the rise. So it best to know what to be on the look out for, if scammers come calling. One of the first things to be suspicious of is if the pest inspector just knocks at your door, doing ‘free termite inspections in your neighbourhood for this week only’.
Just as you are advised to do with any cold caller, ask to see his identity card and then ring his office. This is not a guarantee that the caller is on the level, but at least you have tried something. If he does not have any ID, do not let him in. Send him on his way and ring the police.
If the pest inspector passes this check and you let him in, make sure that you know how much the check up will cost, before he starts. Watch as he carries out his inspection. Be on the look out for ‘seeding’, ie the planting of evidence. If he produces some flying termites’ wings or some live termites, be certain that he did not bring them with him
If the inspection reveals termite damage, make certain that it really is termite damage. If you have never seen any termite damage before, you could be tricked into thinking that dry or wet rot was caused by termites.
If you are unconvinced, stall or phone a friend to come over and give you a second opinion. If you do not know anybody, ring a well-known local builder.
Another termite scam is in the swapping of the chemicals and / or pesticides they use. This is not easy for the lay person to pick up on, but attempt to find out which chemicals, insecticides or fumigating gas they say they are going to use and then check up on the products on the Internet or have a friend on hand who would be familiar with the difference between a cheap copy and the real thing.
If the chemicals that your professional uses are inferior, then it might not eradicate all the termites, leaving your premises open to re-infestation. Keep one of the containers to check up later, if you are still not satisfied.
Make certain you get a guarantee and try to get an insurance-backed warranty. Follow up any phone numbers or web site details. If you think that you have been a target of termite fraud, get in touch with the police and report as many details as you can to the local authorities as well.
If you do nothing, the fraudsters have won, if you do something, you may get restitution or compensation and you may stop someone else being swindled.
Owen Jones, the author of this article, writes on many subjects, but is at present concerned with types of termites. If you are interested in this or if you are wondering: What Does A Termite Look Like?. Please go to our web site now for further information.