Background Screening Experts Identify Top 10 In-Home Consumer Scams & Risks

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ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 11, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PlusOne Solutions, a recognized industry leader in the establishment of quality standards and full-service compliance management, has identified the top 10 in-home consumer scams and risks for repairmen entering your home this holiday season. From cable installers, appliance repair, plumbers and electricians to delivery personnel and landscapers – how can you trust that strangers coming to your property are safe for you?

"Consumers need to be aware of these threats year-round, but especially during the holidays," says Craig Reilly, CEO of PlusOne Solutions. "More than 90 percent of consumers believe that service people entering their homes have been background and drug screened, when the fact is the majority of them have never had a criminal check completed."

Reilly adds that while consumers are mindful to the threats of retail or online shopping, they may actually be more at risk in their own homes when they open the door to servicing companies that fail to properly protect customers by not vetting employees. Recognizing these concerns, PlusOne Solutions has identified the top 10 warning signs consumers should be aware of when opening the door to repairmen:

  1. Somebody arrives unexpectedly or is not the person you expected.
  2. He can't produce valid company identification.
  3. He doesn't have proper paperwork.
  4. He continuously invades your personal space.
  5. He enters rooms outside the immediate service area and/or shows interest in household items other than the reason for the visit.
  6. He raises inappropriate topics of conversation.
  7. He shows unusual interest in you or your children.
  8. He appears or acts less than professional in any way.
  9. He brings a friend on the call.
  10. He asks to use your restroom.

Independent research completed in 2011 showed that one in five consumers did not feel safe when these individuals were in their home. Of this number, 35 percent were still concerned about their safety even after the service person had left their home.

"He tried to lead the conversation into inappropriate topics," said one survey respondent. "He kept looking around my home. At one time, when I found him in another room, he said 'I was just looking for your bathroom.' "

To combat these fears, Reilly recommends some basic questions consumers should ask the service company prior to setting the appointment:

  • Do you background screen your employees and contractors? What is the name of the person coming to my house?
  • What type of identification will the person have? A badge? An ID? Paperwork?
  • Will there be anybody else accompanying the person?
  • Will the person need to come inside my home? And where in my home will the repairman need to go? My garage? My bedroom?
  • How long should this service take?

Reilly understands that many consumers make choices based on price and recommendations from friends, family and online sites. He also suggests after you make an appointment that you inform your friends and family that you are expecting a house call.

"Call your spouse, friend or neighbor so the repairman can hear you say, 'The appliance repairman just arrived. I will call you as soon as he leaves which should be about 30 minutes,' " says Reilly. "This puts the repairman on notice that others are watching. If you can have another adult there with you, that's even better."

Finally, Reilly suggests never allowing someone into your property whom you did not contact. He says if you receive a telemarketing offer and are interested, ask for their number and call them back so you have a record and you know the company is legitimate. He also recommends calling the police if the situation warrants.

PlusOne Solutions offers services to businesses sending workers into consumers' homes, so businesses can focus on their core competencies. These safe contracting programs verify backgrounds and demonstrate reasonable care regarding the referral of authorized service companies and their technicians. Screenings consist of a comprehensive background check, a nine-panel drug screen and a motor vehicle record review specifically for repairmen who work inside a home or place of business.

About PlusOne Solutions:

PlusOne Solutions ( is an industry leader in the development and implementation of quality standards-based background screening and compliance management services in support of safe contracting programs for those who provide in-home and on-premise services. Our Safe Contracting Program may consist of a comprehensive criminal background check, nine-panel drug screen, motor record review and adherence to notification requirements as defined by the Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and/or insurance verification. PlusOne is a member of National Association of Professional Background Screeners.

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Source: PlusOne Solutions