Last Friday, Josh called me while I was at work. He said a guy had come to inspect our crawlspace. The dude had a stack of papers with names and addresses on it, one of which was me. Josh called me because it sounded kinda weird and he wasn't sure if it was legit.
Well, it was kinda weird. We did have work done on our crawlspace last October by the company whose logo was all over the guy's car. But I didn't ask for an inspection. Is it part of company policy to just roll up a few months later and check everything out?
I agreed it sounded fishy, but if the guy wanted to look at our crawlspace, I couldn't see what harm it would do. I did advise Josh to go with him to make sure he didn't...steal our box of old tools, I guess. In the crawlspace, the guy poked at the dehumidifier and said it was leaking, and that we should have the company replace it. Then he left.
Later, I emailed the salesman I had dealt with when we got the crawlspace work done. His response was alarmed, as no, they do not randomly send out inspectors. I had Josh give me a full description of the guy and the encounter, which I emailed back to the salesman.
So it seems clear that there is some kind of scam, but I can't figure out what it was. Possibilities:
1. The guy was, as they say, casing the joint, to come back later and rob us. The odd thing about this is that he would not have cause to go into the house proper, so he really would not be able to tell much more than he could by just driving casually about the neighborhood. Also, I mark this as "least concern." While on paper, I am just a single woman having her crawlspace fixed, in reality, I have a husband, a brother-in-law, a pitbull, and a rottweiler. The man saw the men of the house, and he heard the dogs barking within. They do not sound like small dogs.
2. The guy was looking to steal things from our crawlspace. I have to admit, this would be trivially easy, with nothing but a plywood door and a master lock standing in his way. But, as he would have seen, there just isn't much down there worth stealing. Since we had the space encapsulated, it does make for nice extra storage. We have a bike and some containers that contain tools and whatnot. If this is the game, then I have to assume he's going to conclude our house just isn't worth the hit. But who keeps valuables in the crawlspace anyway? The most valuable thing down there is probably the dehumidifier that was installed as part of our encapsulation. Which brings us to the third theory...
3. The guy deals in used dehumidifiers. He was going around, telling customers that their equipment was broken so that they would have it replaced under warranty. He apparently has some relationship with the company (hence the decals on the car and the list of recent customers), so maybe he gets the old equipment, which he then resells. Okay, pretty far-fetched.
We are keeping an eye on the crawlspace, checking it often so that if something does go missing, we can report it quickly. I'm not worried about our personal safety (see dogs, ferocious). It's just really, really strange.
Any other ideas?