BBB warns offers for free solar panels are likely a scam
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau is warning to be careful when looking at installation offers for solar panels.
The BBB said con artists offering “free solar panels” use misleading sales tactics and lies to trick homeowners out of money and into giving away personal information.
The BBB said the scam often involves being contacted through email, phone, social media or even in person by someone who is pretending to be a solar company salesperson. The “salesperson” has a special offer in which they say they can install solar panels on your home for a low cost or even for free. They say the deal is only for a limited time, so they encourage you to act quickly.
Next the scammer might ask for personal information, including needing you to fill out forms with your banking details. The salesperson also might claim that you need to pay an upfront cost, which they promise will be reimbursed by a “government program.”
The BBB recommends following these tips to avoid solar panel scams:
- Do your research. Real incentive programs and reputable solar energy companies do exist, but before you accept any offer, do some research on solar companies near you. Investigate company reputations and business practices before you sign a contract for services.
- Don’t give into the pressure. Con artists want you to give in to their request without fully thinking it through. Take your time and know that a legitimate company won’t pressure you. Cut off communication if a salesperson is using aggressive tactics.
- Get other bids. Contact multiple solar installers if you want to go solar. If someone is pulling a con, it will be easier to spot if you can compare companies.
- Ask questions. Ask questions about any part of a contract or proposal you don’t understand. If a salesperson gets upset about your questions, refuses to answer them or is vague with the answers, consider it a red flag.
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