ORANGE CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office is informing Sioux County residents of possible air duct cleaning scam that has been happening in the area recently.
According to authorities, air duct cleaning crews claim to be offering a low-priced opportunity to clean residential or business ductwork. The phone number they have been using is 712-218-2577. When calling the number, a message plays, saying, “this text mail subscriber is not available.”
Police said even if call recipients 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 police that when asking them for references, the scammer will send links to local credible duct cleaning businesses who have no affiliation with these scams.
Police have also heard reports that these scammers may be driving white vans with no business lettering.
The police have additional tips for people dealing with these companies.
- Usually no contract is offered: 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.
- Scammers 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.
For more information regarding the scam, click here.