Duct Cleaning Scams

Duct Cleaning Scams are very common on Facebook, and are probably the most common type of service scam you’ll find there. They are usually posted inside of Group Pages, where they are more visible and Facebook does less monitoring.

Warning Signs of a Duct Cleaning Scam

You should suspect a scam when you see:

  • A poster doesn’t state a business name, website address or phone number.
  • The FB account of the poster has newly joined the group and shows little to no activity on their profile. The poster has blurry profile pictures and/or no friend connections local to you.
  • A poster does offer a business name and website, but insists you text/call a number that is different than shown on their site.
  • A vague discount is promised, with no explicit pricing, or a flat fee is offered for cleaning unlimited ducts and vents.
  • The provided phone number turns up no Google results or shows an area code from a faraway region.
  • They won’t give their licensing or NADCA info on demand.
  • The poster has Liked their own post, or has a Locked Facebook Profile.
  • They misspell “duct”, with an apostrophe or substitution (to dodge word filters).

A legitimate company is going to state their contact info clearly and readily. Real businesses want to make it easy for you to contact them through various means (phone, email, website), so it should be a red flag to you if you’re having trouble getting that info. And real duct cleaning outfits will not dodge questions about their business or NADCA licensing.

Scam Details

I haven’t experienced the end-game of duct cleaning scams myself. But I have messaged them and tried to figure out their angle. Sometimes they lie and claim they work for companies that know nothing about them. Other times, they’re just evasive and ignore questions about their identity. They push to schedule an appointment for service with me, only to cancel and block me as soon as I reveal that the service address is for my local police station. Fancy that.

Still, we can get some ideas of what the scammers’ goals are. Listen to this professional detail how these scams affect his legitimate company. And consider what happens in these tawdry exposes.

Once you absorb what’s presented in those videos, take a step back, and appreciate the fishiness. My take is that Facebook is the communication tool of choice for a crime referral network. Facebook users from Pakistan (hiding behind Western-sounding names, using throwaway sock puppet accounts) are helping shady contractors connect to potential victims all over the USA! These unlicensed mystery workers will come to your home with duct cleaning equipment, but they may not perform honest service. Chances are they will lie, cheat and steal from you, and then disappear without a trace.

Dos and Don’ts

If you see a duct cleaning scam, don’t waste your time contacting the poster. Don’t give them any personal info, because they could share it with other scammers. And don’t let questionable people into your home! The most you can do is report the post to the admins of the FB Group as a scam. And if you’re an admin of such a FB group, you’ll want to remove the post ASAP to protect your group members. Track down and block the scammer’s account from your group, too!

You can try to report things to Facebook, as well. But they aren’t too responsive. Since the actual crime is occurring off-platform, Facebook moderators don’t see anything actionable. I’ve reported countless duct cleaning scams, to no avail. It’s pretty much up to us to keep alert and look out for each other.


  1. kay

    So many of the groups used by the scammers are public, not private. And most of this groups have admins that don’t do anything. Makes me sick!

    • Jesse Mueller

      I hear ya. I wish I had a better solution, but for now, all I can do is spread awareness.

      • Elizabeth A Trickey

        I made the mistake of giving my address and phone #. And it wasn’t until a follow up call that wasn’t local that I realized I was getting into something wrong. I blocked them on facebook and blocked thier number. but I am worried is there anything else I can do?

        • Jesse Mueller

          You’re going to be OK. This is only a vaguely-organized criminal network, and they don’t care too much about any one person (victim). Blocking the Facebook and the phone number who called you is about all you can do, for now.

          They will likely move on and forget about you. But because you gave them some contact info, there is the small chance they’ll pass that on to other scammers. So just be ready. If you get another call from another duct cleaning outfit, tell them your ducts are clean and hang up. If you get any other unexpected calls, just hang up.

  2. pat aitchison

    thanks for the information. Now I am really leery. I had contacted a group here in the subdivision. A couple of the names were somewhat familiar. I would like to have this service done. I have a small three bedroom house. 1500′ maybe. I am in the middle of getting rid of and cleaning big time. One bedroom will not be able to get into. It is packed. What is your basic charge? Do you need under the house? I assume all you need to get to the vent is room for the hose?

    • Jesse Mueller

      There are ways to verify if you are dealing with a legitimate duct cleaning company. And there are red flags to watch out for, as well.

      Ask for their full contact info, including physical address and website. If you get that, it helps you research them with the local government and look for online reviews. If they hesitate or don’t give you the info you ask for, then it is fishy and you should cut off contact. Another red flag is if they say Yes, we are certified, but you have to wait until the guy arrives to clean your ducts, he will have the info… That’s hogwash. A legit company can give you all the info over the phone.

      Ask if they are certified with NADCA. If they are, you should be able to check up on them there. https://nadca.com/ If not, ask for their licensing info with the county or regional government. You can check with the DPOR in most states for this kind of business, to make sure they are registered properly.

      Whatever phone number they give you, compare it to what is listed on their website. If it is different, call the website phone number during business hours, and describe who you are dealing with online. Make sure they know about that person and the phone number they’ve given. If there’s any confusion or disagreement, then you have flushed out a scammer.

      If you hire someone to come to your home, make sure to confirm their company identity as soon as they arrive. If you hire ABC Duct Cleaners, it should be visible on their vehicle. If it isn’t, ask for a business card. If they can’t provide tangible proof of their company, chase them away. These scammers will claim to be with one company online, but send posers out to pretend-clean your ducts. Posers and crooks won’t have proper signage on their cars or anything else that makes them look official.

  3. Dave

    This has become so prevalent in our private neighborhood group that new users are allowed in only with post approval turned on.

    Just today, 3 new members, 3 posts submitted, all 3 were vent cleaning ads. So, 3 posts declined, 3 members removed and banned from the group.

    • Jesse Mueller

      Yes, I know your pain. In my neighborhood group, we only admit new members after they answer specific questions about the neighborhood and its landmarks. This usually makes the impostors easy to identify and block. But last week, a scammer with a convincing account actually answered the questions in a believable way. They had done some research and mapping before asking to join!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2024 BlueScreen Computer

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑