If you are on Facebook, chances are that you belong to at least one local buy-sell group in your area. I am a member of at least a dozen of these local groups in Northern Colorado. Since I am a member of so many of these groups, I have seen many scammers targeting Facebook users, so I feel compelled to warn you about them. In fact, I have seen over half a dozen of these Facebook duct-cleaning scam posts in classified groups today, and it's not even noon yet.

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Some of these scammers have gotten really good at making their classified posts look legit. I've even been curious as to how their scam works, so I tell them I am interested and see what they do. More often than not, they ask for a hefty deposit up front, ask for personal information, or tell you to call them so they can gather information from you and get you to say the word "yes." But, of course, you won't get your ducts cleaned.

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Some of these scammers will even ask you to give certain personal information on a provided link that doesn't even take you to a business. But when it comes to the less-obvious red flags, there are some key factors that stand out above the rest when it comes to deciphering whether or not a post is a scam. Here is what to look out for.

Easy ways to tell if you are getting scammed:

  • The post says "Believe my work not my words. This is not a scam." If they have to say it's not a scam, it's a scam.
  • They refuse to provide a company name in the classified post. Legitimate businesses want their name out in the public to showcase their services.
  • Scammers provide a company name via a personal message such as "Duct Cleaning Colorado" or "Duct Cleaners." These names are very generic and impossible to find on Google since, after all, they're not for a legit business.
  • The occasionally provided phone numbers on these scam posts which cannot be found via Google or any other search engines.
  • The Facebook account is days to weeks old. In most cases, their names do not match the usernames in their URL. To me, this is one of the biggest and easiest red flags to spot when it comes to a scam.
  • Their Facebook profile is locked down tighter than Fort Knox. No friends, posts or photos can be seen.
  • Their occupation says they work at Facebook Marketplace.
  • The scammer uses the word "kindly." Example: Kindly message me to have our service.

These days, it seems that when it comes to online scams, it can be harder to tell what is real and what is not. But with a little due diligence, you can easily tell if a post refers to a legit business or not. You just need to know what to look out for. If you are in the market to have the ducts cleaned in your home, find a reputable company that will provide the services you are looking to have done. It's always better to be safe, rather than sorry, when it comes to your money and the possibility of identity theft.

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