Many of you readers love information about scams. Some of the recent ones featured in this column involved asphalt paving and foreign lotteries.
Today, we have yet another deal that seems too good to be true. How would you like to slash your monthly cost of electricity in half, through an energy-efficiency audit?
Sorry to tease you, but experts say that’s highly unlikely. About the best you can expect is 25 to 35 percent, after a potentially significant investment, if your home was built before 1940.
You might have gotten your hopes raised, however, if you received a flyer that’s been making the rounds.
Jeremy Holmes, coordinator of sustainability programs for the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, recently got one, along with an email, signed “Marcus T, chief strategist.”
He was asking for Holmes’s help in promoting energy-saving audits and weatherization services.
A few things seemed odd about the pitch, though. The first was the line in the email that read, “In fact we are capable of slashing electric bills in half, immediately!”
“That was really unrealistic,” Holmes told me. “If they say ‘we’re going to save half on your energy bill immediately,’ they’re probably lying.” So we both did some further checking.
Marcus’ unusual email address was identical to one posted on flyers downtown that advertise double-your-money investment opportunities via day-trading.
The text of the flyer itself was a copy-and-paste ripoff from the Web site of a legitimate energy-auditing organization, the nonprofit Community Alliance for Energy Efficiency.
The company Marcus T purportedly represented lists itself as a local lawn-mowing service.
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