What is especially disconcerting is that many of the roadside "snipe" signs are really scams. After all, does an honest business really need to advertise in this manner? Some of the common ones are:
We Buy Houses
They are targeting people who are behind in their mortgage payments and might be on the verge of losing their home to foreclosure. "We" come along and make an offer that looks good, but ends up taking most of the owner's equity. And they end up losing the house anyway.
Links: Equity skimming | Scams
Restore Your Credit
We all know that there is really no honest way to repair your credit besides stopping doing the usual things that destroy it. Try calling one of these places if all your credit cards are already maxed out. They don't want to talk to you. That's because, all they want to do is to get their fee out of what remains on your credit, and then you'll never hear from them again.
Cash For Cars
The most common scam with this is "bait and switch". They make you a rather good sounding offer over the phone but, when they show up at your house with the tow truck, they offer much less, with some excuse about the condition of the car that you did not tell them. You feel pressured (or threatened) at that point, and accept the lower offer.
Another problem that people have is that the registration is never properly transferred. They tow your car away, and sell it to some sleaze-ball who continues to drive on your license plates. You end up getting charged with things like red-light cameras or worse.
Links: here is a really good description of the top 10 scams.
Also called Premium-rate telephone number. Sometimes a sign might have a "900" phone number (or some other local-looking number with the same problem). You might confuse this with a free "800" number, but they are different. When you call an "900" number, you incur a charge, even if you are calling from your cell-phone with its "free" long-distance plan. The scammer then does everything to keep you on the line as long as possible, because their meter is running.
(The other version of this scam is to call your phone and show a "900" number on your calling number ID and to hang up right away. They want you to call back and incur the charge, which pays them.)
It is not only "900" that can do this. It can also happen with calls to area codes 473 (Grenada), 758 (St Lucia), 664 (Montserrat), 804 (Dominican Republic), or to a "local" looking number like 410-976-xxxx. There are additional of these "pay-per-call" local numbers: usually 940, 915, 556, 554, and 550. Verizon offers blocking of calls to these numbers.
Links: Here | Or here
These signs offer information for "free" that is already available free to citizens. Obviously, this is just a come-on to get you to their business, where they will try to sell you something else. Just plain "bait and switch".
And speaking of "scams", while trying to search for who owns the telephone numbers listed, one is inundated with websites that claim that they can tell you who it is (for a fee, of course). They are mostly scams themselves - some actually do extensive Internet searches, the same as you should be able to do by yourself. But, it appears that Google is interferring with our actual searches and, instead, just showing us links to these special sites, many of which apparently buy their search software or their service from Google, thus explaining Google's reason for favouring them. Some of these sites, like cityfreq.com, display just plain garbage. If I look up my own phone number, it says it belongs to Carline Wessner. I have had that phone number since it was first created. Looking at their whole list, it is obvious that every "name" is fake.