CONSUMER Affairs Victoria is warning Mornington Peninsula home owners and social media site administrators to be wary of posts offering cheap duct cleaning services.
As duct cleaning scams flood community Facebook sites across the peninsula, the consumer watchdog says homeowners should be cautious of businesses advertising cheap services or wanting up-front payment.
However, even customers paying after a service is completed can be caught out, as complaints reveal scammers rarely complete tasks.
A CAV spokesperson said people should always “shop around to find a business that’s right for them” and question offers that seem too good to be true.
If a cleaning service has not completed the job to the standard they advertised, consumers should speak with the business in the first instance to see if the issue can be resolved.
Anyone who feels they may have transferred money to a scammer should contact their bank or financial institution immediately.
Industry experts say duct cleaning scams are prolific around the world, but there are ways to spot them. Fake posts often use photos showing homes with European electrical points, and often use the same assortment of images as unrelated posts. One of the most revealing signs is that the Facebook account is new, or just a few weeks old.
Deceitful contractors have been caught blasting air into a few ducts, up-selling add-on services, persuading the homeowner to pay for unneeded services or using scare tactics to convince them urgent repairs or mould treatments are necessary.
CAV recommends doing research to find a reputable company.