It's real easy to make a professional looking business card, create an absolutely FREE website, and join a web networking and/or business website(s). Professionals do it all the time,
...and so do the scam artists.
The fake painter / pressure washing company is a person who is trying to pass as a REAL painter, or pass as a LEGITIMATE painting company or pressure washing company; to get / make money - without having a business license.
They pose as legit, but upon a little bit of research, they don't exist, and fortunately for you; they are easy to spot.
Ask for a License number
All painters, painting contractors, power washing companies & painting companies who contract for money; MUST have a business license, this is the LAW in every State.
Having a business license means the business owner's name and his business is recorded at the State level. It means that if they don't do a good job, or they take your money and don't show up, or you need to file a complaint against them; YOU CAN, and there's a certain amount of protection for the consumer.
But if they don't have a license, you have no protection, and you can't complain - because they don't exist!
...and they are breaking the Law!
Check their Reviews where ever you can find them
Some "reviews" are real, while many are completely fake. Check the name of the person giving the review, look at reviews on their Facebook page. Read more about "Fake Reviews".
Look at their business Facebook profile.
You can see how long they've been in business / creating posts, you can see how many people "like" them, you can read their reviews.
Look at their website photographs of "their" work.
Many fake painting companies search the web and steal awesome pictures from legitimate companies who actually take photgraphs of their projects. These fakes and fraudsters post someone else's work on THEIR OWN website, tricking you to believe that THEY did that.
This is a highly unethical practice, and it happens all too much - and it's a RED FLAG that they are more than willing to trick and deceive you, this shows you that they are a LIAR!
Look at their company Facebook page and see if you can find that awesome picture and the entire project, a true painter is always proud to post his/her ENTIRE projects on their business Facebook page.
We find these people stealing OUR images all the time; by right clicking the image and having Google search for similar images - and whoa; there's OUR work posted on SOMEONE ELSE'S website!
Google their phone number, Google their name and/or company name
If someone is posting a business phone number, that number will lead to a business.
If someone is claiming to be the owner of a business, Google their name, it should point right towards their business.
If someone is claiming that they are a business; check the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. Simply type in their business license number, or their name, or their company name.