August 15, 2013
By Helen Hassard
Membership and Chapter Coordinator

Helen HassardIt’s unfortunate that I have to write this month’s column on such a negative topic. Usually I like to focus on the positive, but I’ve recently had an experience that I want to share.

I received a phone call from a company calling itself Computer Expert Services, although I’m sure it goes by several names. The people from this company told me that they were hired by Microsoft and had been receiving signals from my computer that showed it was in immediate danger of crashing.

Well, I’m no computer expert, but for several reasons I found this hard to believe. The fact that they wanted to offer that level of support, just seemed too good to be true. I wondered why Microsoft would hire this task out to an outside company, since it would mean giving out personal contact information. I also questioned the claim that my computer had a virus. The LO home office has pretty good software to protect us.

Anyway, after a few minutes of questioning the customer service representative on company details, while continuing to Google the situation on my ‘infected computer,’ it became pretty obvious that this was a scam.

These people were either trying to trick me into eventually paying for this ‘free service,’ or ‘fix’ my computer by following their instructions, which would actually give them access to my computer.

So why am I sharing this little story with you? Because, unfortunately, I have also heard of scenarios where companies approach members saying they are contacting you on behalf of Landscape Ontario to sell you something. Landscape Ontario does work with endorsed suppliers; the most up to date list is available online at I know some associate members have been known to offer discounts to other members, but please, if something sounds too good to be true, don’t hesitate to check with home office at 1-800-265-5656, or contact me directly at the email address below.

Lately some of the scams I’ve heard about are companies trying to sell LO members discounted sunglasses and another trying to get you to update the information in their guidebook. So please, be cautious, and when in doubt, double-check.
Call at 1-800-265-5656, ext. 354, or email, or tweet me about it at @LOMembership. I would like to hear your thoughts and feedback.