The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office would like to inform the citizens of Sioux County of possible air duct cleaning scam that has been occurring in the area recently.
These air duct cleaning crews offer a low-priced opportunity to clean residential or business ductwork. The phone number they have been using is 712-218-2577. When you call this number, you will receive a message saying, “this text mail subscriber is not available.” Even if you don’t leave a message, the scammer begins a dialogue with you via text message asking you for personal information, such as, “How many furnaces do you have?” “What is your zip code?” Callers have been reporting that if you answer them back, the dialogue has continued with statements similar to, “We charge $250.00 and at this price we will be cleaning all of the ducts from the top to the basement; all the vents from top to the basement, all the main lines, all the return lines, antibacterial sanitization process, no hookup charges, no hidden charges and no per-vent charges.” Reporting parties have told us that if you ask them for references, the scammer will send you links to local credible duct cleaning businesses who have no affiliation with these scams; the scammers are simply sending these to you to gain your trust. Often, those who fall for this scam will also discover that the quality of work is of very poor quality if it was even performed at all.
We have also heard reports that these scammers may be driving white vans with no business lettering.
We have these additional tips for you if you deal with these companies.
- Usually no contract is offered: Always make certain there is a written contract. Without a written contract, the original low estimate you were given may grow into hundreds of dollars or even thousands after the work is finished.
- They will push you to make a quick decision: Reputable contractors will provide a written estimate that will be valid for weeks or even months. Good contractors leave the decision to you without pressure.
- Unmarked trucks: Suspicious trucks usually will not have business markings or names on them or will have an out of town address and phone number displayed.
Always do a check on any company you hire before agreeing to have any work started. Get a written estimate and tell them you will get back to them. Making sure that you first get bids from other local air duct cleaning companies before granting them permission to start is also a good way to compare prices.
The best advice is to know who you are doing business with. In many cases, you are safer dealing with a contractor who has local ties to the community.
Make sure that if you are in doubt, don’t agree to any services. If these companies pressure you or begin work without your permission, don’t wait; contact your law enforcement agency immediately.