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Frequently Asked Questions
The Top 5 Most Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I always have three days to revoke a contract?
No. The only time Maine law gives you three days to revoke a contract is when a door-to-door seller contacts you at home. Then the seller must use a written contract and the contract must contain a notice that you have three days to revoke the contract. See Maine Attorney General Consumer Law Guide, § 13.4, You Have a Right to Cancel a Door-to-Door Sales Contract Within Three Business Days.
- Must door-to-door driveway pavers be licensed?
Yes. Driveway pavers and all other home repair sellers who do not have a permanent place of business in your municipality must be registered with the State. The seller's contract must include a state registration number. If the home repair work is a permanent addition to your house (for example, a new driveway) the work cannot even begin until your three-day right to cancel has expired. If you have any doubt about a door-to-door home repair seller, ask to see the seller's contract and license. If the seller does not have this information or refuses to give it to you, call the police. See Maine Attorney General's Consumer Law Guide, § 13.7-13.8, Home Repair Transient Sales.
- How can I get on the National Do Not Call List?
It is easy to sign up with the Federal Trade Commission. Call 1-888-382-1222 or go to www.donotcall.gov.
You can also remove yourself from mailing lists by sending the same information, and your signature,to DMA Mail Preference Service at Direct Marketing Association, PO Box 9014, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014. By placing your name in the DMA Do Not Mail List you can expect within a few months to receive considerably fewer unwanted mailings. Your name remains on the list for five years. After that, you must repeat the process if you want to continue to be listed. See www.the-dma.org.
- Is the check I just received in the mail valid?
No! Fake checks are quickly becoming our top scam. You receive in the mail a very realistic looking cashier's check made out to you. You are told that you just won a lottery (usually Canadian) and that you should cash the check and send part of the money to the lottery to pay the taxes on your winnings. The check is so realistic that the bank cashes it. Then, a few days later, the check bounces and you owe the bank the entire amount of the check. And it will not do any good to argue to the bank that the "lottery" fooled you. The bank won't care. It will demand you pay back the entire amount of the check.
The "Fake Check" scam shares elements of many other scams. Beware of:
- "Free gifts" that require you to pay "shipping and handling charges", or "redemption fees", or require you to phone a 900 number in order to take advantage of the attractive offer;
- "High-profit, no-risk" investments. All high-profit investments are extremely risky. The greater the profit, the greater the risk. If you are told differently, it is a scam and do not become involved.
- High pressure sales tactics and demands for you to "act now." For example, the caller tells you an overnight delivery courier will quickly come to your door to collect the money.
- A request for your credit card number for "identification" purposes or to "verify" that you have won a prize. It is our recommendation to never give out your credit card number over the phone unless the business is well established and it is you who placed the call.
- Refusal to mail you written materials or provide you with even the most basic detail about the organization.
- Organizations that are unfamiliar to you or have only a post office box number so you will not know their exact location.
See Maine Attorney General's Consumer Law Guide, § 28.3, How to Spot Mail or Telephone Fraud. Also see Top Consumer Scams.
- Should I believe mail or telephone announcements that I have won a big prize?
No. Even though the announcement seems to say that you have actually won a prize, if you read the very small print you will discover that your actual chances of winning the prize are only one in many millions. Also, in Maine it is a crime to tell someone that the person won a prize but to then require the person to send some money to get that prize. See Maine Attorney General's Consumer Law Guide, § 28.4, How to Avoid Becoming the Victim.