Like many people, I have joined many local Facebook pages to keep up with what's happening in our community.  It's amazing how much you can learn from your neighbors.

I wonder if you've noticed a trend recently?  On many of these pages, there are posts from people who claim to be starting a new business, and offering to clean your home's air ducts.

Pleasant Green via YouTube
Pleasant Green via YouTube

Sounds innocent enough, and who doesn't want to help a local community member get their business off the ground?

So you respond to the ad and receive a reply asking for the size of your home, the number of furnaces you have, and where the furnaces are located.

The quote you are going to be given will be anywhere from $150-$299.  They tell you that payment is made after the work is done.  Then they want to set an appointment.

Wait, payment after the work is done?  How could that be a scam?

Air Duct Cleaning Scams

Typically, the pictures they use for the posts are usually taken from random Facebook people who have no idea their picture has been lifted.
When you ask for the name of their company, they'll tell you they're a local, family-owned business.   However, they usually use a fake name or the name of a real company that has no idea it's being used.
Press for a phone number, and it's an out-of-town area code.  Here's where it gets crazy.  A YouTuber who operates a channel called, Pleasant Green, conducted an investigation and determined that although many different company names are used, most seem connected to one particular call center in Pakistan.
Pleasant Green via YouTube
Pleasant Green via YouTube

 How Facebook Duct Cleaning Scams Work

The call center then farms out the work to agents in New Jersey and other states who then send out people to do the work.
The workers will usually show up with professional equipment.  However, rather than do the job properly, they blow air through the ducts.  A job that typically takes three hours, is done in one.
The crew is paid in cash, and a percentage of the money collected is sent to the center in Pakistan.

The Proper Way to Clean Air Ducts

Properly cleaning the ducts involves first dislodging dirt, this is done with special equipment.  Then they use a special high-power vacuum.  Depending on the situation, they may have to create small holes in the vents (which are later sealed) and may include special chemicals.  It takes time to do it properly.
Always do your homework before hiring a company to do this work.  Make sure they have a real local office, and check references.  While there may be some real companies posting on Facebook, I wouldn't trust most.
Finally, if the deal sounds too good to be true, it most definitely is.

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