January 24, 2024

American Solar scam calls and how to avoid them

American Solar scam calls and how to avoid them

There are several legitimate companies called American Solar, US Solar, or similar names that suggest the business is based in the United States and deals with solar energy. Unfortunately for these companies, their reputations are sometimes called into question because of scammers who pose as their business (or one that sounds similar in name). Since there are several companies with these types of names, it’s easier for scammers to hide their tracks and shift the blame for their schemes.

Solar energy has become an increasingly affordable way to heat, cool, and power residential homes and commercial buildings while reducing carbon footprints. Fraudsters have recognized this surge in popularity as an opportunity to steal personal and financial information, money, and even identities from consumers who are interested in solar energy. Recovering losses to fraud can be a lengthy and difficult process, so it pays to understand how to stay safe from scams.

It’s critical to not only be aware of these types of scams but also take proactive measures to protect your private information. Keep reading to learn about American Solar scam calls and how to avoid them.

How American Solar scam calls work

American Solar scam calls typically work much like other types of spam calls: A scammer who claims to represent a legitimate business makes you a generous (but fake) offer with the intention of uncovering sensitive information like your email address, bank account information, or Social Security number. Once the scammer gets the information they’re after, they can sell it on the dark web or use it to hack into your online accounts.

Fortunately, many scammers use the same types of tactics, making them easier to spot from afar. Understanding how to identify fake solar offers can help protect your data, finances, and privacy.

Tactics used by scammers

From solar energy cons to bank fraud to sweepstake schemes, most phone scams tend to use similar methods. Get to know these tactics so you can catch scammers in the act and avoid falling victim to their ploys.

  • False promises: Scammers may exaggerate or outright lie about offers to get targets to reveal their personal information. Beware of promises that seem too good to be true, as they generally are.
    • Watch out for phony deals that promise free solar panels or low-cost installation services.
  • Sense of pressure: Scammers often introduce exclusive, limited-time offers that expire quickly and require prompt action. The goal is to trick you into revealing your personal information before you realize you’re being scammed.
    • If a caller makes an offer or gives an estimate for solar equipment without even surveying your property or inquiring about your electricity use, they probably don’t represent a real service — they just want to acquire your information as quickly as possible.
  • Vishing (“voice” + “phishing”): Vishing occurs when a phishing scam is done by phone call. The scammer aims to manipulate the target into revealing identifying information over the phone.
    • This may be done via real-time phone call or voicemail.
    • E.g., a caller claiming to represent American Solar leaves a voicemail urging you to call a phone number that’s actually owned by scammers, not the real business. When you call, they solicit personal information that they can use to steal from you.
  • Smishing (“SMS” + “phishing”): Sometimes solar scams (and other phone fraud attempts) are done by text message. These smishing attacks generally instruct the target to click a link to take advantage of an exclusive offer that could significantly reduce their energy bills.
    • In reality, clicking the link in smishing texts leads you to a spoofed website that steals any information you enter.
    • A malicious smishing link may also infect your device with malware and give scammers access to your data and apps.

Identifying fraudulent solar energy offers

Many consumers consider solar energy a relatively safe investment, both for their bank accounts and the environment. While there are financial and ecological benefits to using renewable solar energy, it’s important to be on the lookout for counterfeit offers. Though it may seem like you’re getting a deal you can’t pass up, you might actually be putting yourself at risk for fraud.

Scammers may offer low-cost or free solar energy, sometimes claiming your upfront costs will be reimbursed by the government. They may also ask for financial information to see if you qualify for an offer or to process payment and lock in your rates. If you notice any of these red flags, hang up the phone and search for a reputable solar energy company instead.

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Recognizing and avoiding solar scam calls

Solar energy scam calls can be dangerous, and falling victim to one can bring about severe consequences like financial fraud and identity theft. The good news is that there are ways to spot a scam and get out of it unscathed.

Warning signs of a scam call

Since phone scams often use the same tactics, it stands to reason that they come with many of the same warning signs. The sooner you recognize the red flags, the sooner you can shut down the scammers and avoid falling into their traps.

  • Unsolicited contact: A scammer may pose as a representative of a solar energy company that allegedly just finished an installation in your area, offering a free energy analysis from a specialist to supposedly help you save money on your bill.
    • Always treat unsolicited phone calls with suspicion, especially if the caller tries to elicit information or requests any form of payment.
    • If you’re on the National Do Not Call Registry and you still get telemarketing scams, they’re just that: scams. Legitimate businesses generally want to avoid facing penalties for violating the Registry, but the fraudsters posing as the real company aren’t deterred.
  • Calls from an unfamiliar phone number:
    • If you get a call from a number you don’t recognize, use Robokiller’s phone number lookup tool to see if it’s been associated with spam.
    • Unfortunately, spoofinghas made it difficult to trust standard caller IDs, as scammers can disguise their phone numbers as any number they want — including the businesses they’re impersonating.
      • Robokiller combats caller ID spoofing by using audio fingerprinting to track scammers by their voices, not just their phone numbers.
  • Sense of urgency: Many legitimate companies offer limited-time specials, but they won’t pressure you into taking action.
    • Fraudsters often use a false sense of urgency to encourage their targets to act before they have a chance to notice the scam’s warning signs.
  • Solicitation of personal information: Scammers are generally after your valuable private data, so beware of callers that ask for confidential information.
    • Under no circumstances will solar energy companies need to collect information like your date of birth, Social Security number, or bank account details.

What to do if you encounter a solar scam call

Solar scam calls can’t harm you if you know how to handle them. And if you do end up falling victim to a solar scam call, there are steps you can take to protect your data, mitigate the damage, and potentially recover your losses.

Reporting scam calls

Reporting scam calls quickly may help you recover your losses as well as assist the authorities in cracking down on fraud. There are several government agencies that accept and encourage reports of phone scams and cyber attacks.

Steps to take if personal information is compromised

If an American Solar scam call tricks you into revealing personal information, you may be at risk for potentially disastrous consequences. Follow these steps as soon as you realize (or even suspect) you’ve given private data to a scammer.

  • Request a fraud alert or credit freeze from the three major credit bureaus.
    • Contact the three major credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert or credit freeze on your file. These steps can help prevent scammers from using your credit and opening new accounts in your name.
  • Contact your financial institutions and close potentially compromised cards and accounts.
    • If a scammer deceived you into revealing financial details like account numbers, PIN codes, and online banking credentials, contact your financial institutions immediately.
    • Close any accounts that may have been compromised, and request new debit and/or credit cards.
    • Many banks, credit unions, credit card companies, and payment apps will refund unauthorized charges if you report them promptly.
  • File a police report.
    • Fraud, scams, and identity theft are serious crimes that should be reported to the police immediately. Contact local law enforcement and file a police report if you’ve lost personal information to an American solar scam call or other phone scam.
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How do these scams affect the solar industry?

American Solar scams and other types of solar panel fraud have had a negative impact on solar businesses, their customers, and even the industry itself. Many people who have received solar-based scam calls are unaware that the people behind them are really scammers who don’t actually represent the company they claim to. Although victims are right to be frustrated, that frustration tends to be uninformed and misdirected.

Unfortunately, this creates an association between solar energy companies and phone scams, which can tarnish the reputations of reputable businesses and drive people away from an eco-friendly energy source. This type of association can be difficult to reverse, even if victims find out they were targeted by a scammer, and the solar company they used as a disguise had no knowledge of or involvement in the fraud.

Defend yourself against solar energy scams

Just one solar energy scam can drain your bank accounts, ruin your credit score, and compromise your identity. That’s why it’s vital to protect your personal information by understanding how to recognize scams, being cautious with unsolicited communications, and using a scam blocker like Robokiller to block spam texts and scam calls.

Robokiller is a scam blocker that stops 99% of annoying spam calls and dangerous scam texts from getting through to your phone. Our robust scam-blocking algorithm uses machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to virtually eliminate phone scams, shutting down fraudsters before they can pitch their schemes. To date, we’ve saved consumers over $740 million in prevented losses to phone scams.

In today’s uber-connected world, it’s crucial to stay informed, be proactive, and bolster your defenses against phone fraud. Start your free 7-day Robokiller trial today and take back your privacy, your security, and your peace of mind.


What are American Solar scam calls, and how do they operate?

American Solar scam calls are fraudulent calls in which a scammer poses as American Solar or a similarly named company. Their goal is to gain personal information by making bogus offers for free or low-cost solar energy services. Once they’ve acquired the right data, they can sell it on the dark web or use it to access victims’ online accounts and commit identity fraud.

How can I identify a fraudulent solar energy offer?

Some scammers disguise themselves as solar energy companies and reach out to unsuspecting victims with fake offers for solar panels, installation services, or energy analyses. Look out for callers that create a sense of urgency, offer unbelievable deals, or solicit personal information. Legitimate solar energy companies won’t ask for private information like dates of birth, Social Security numbers, or financial details.

What should I do if I receive a suspicious call about solar energy?

Recognizing that solar energy scammers are out there can help prepare you to handle an American Solar scam call if you are targeted. Always be on the lookout for the red flags of phone fraud, and don’t be afraid to ask the caller as many questions as you need to ensure they are who they say they are.

If your gut tells you something feels off, don’t hesitate to hang up the phone. Research the company that the caller claims to represent, and call them at a publicly listed number to determine if the call was legitimate. Never give away personal information or transfer money to someone before verifying their identity and confirming you can trust them.

How can I protect myself from falling victim to telemarketing scams?

Telemarketing scams are annoying and dangerous, but proper protective measures can neutralize their threats and prevent them from doing any damage. Protect your data and identity from scammers by refraining from sharing personal information over the phone, recognizing the signs of a phone scam, and using a top-tier scam blocker like Robokiller to eliminate 99% of risky scam calls and texts.

Who should I contact to report a solar scam call?

If you’ve been targeted by a solar scam call, report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). If you’ve given away personal or financial information, close your accounts and cards with your financial institutions and contact the three major credit reporting agencies to freeze your credit. Call local law enforcement and file a police report if you suspect you may be a victim of identity theft.

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