Heating and Cooling Scams: A Greater Risk Than You May Think

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Throughout the winter months, the last thing you want is a furnace that isn’t working.

But during this busy time of the year for HVAC companies across the country comes an influx of scammers posing as heating and cooling specialists trying to target unsuspecting homeowners.

According to a December 18 Racine Journal Times article, heating and cooling scammers will typically call people, claiming to be representatives from a “sister company” of a local heating and cooling company, and asking the homeowners to schedule a routine maintenance visit. They ask for the homeowner’s credit card information, after which they will take money out without actually performing any work.

“The BBB would be a great place to start with some research on potential contractors that may be used, as well as trying to discover past work experience the contractor has done,” says Jeff Vitt, Owner of Vitt Heating & Air Conditioning. “It would also be beneficial to verify required licensing that an HVAC company needs to work in their area. References from other customers is also a great way to make sure you’re choosing a company that does quality work.”

Before hiring any company to repair your home’s heating and cooling system, always check the company’s rating on the Better Business Bureau website. Never agree to pay for a heating and cooling repair or maintenance procedure without speaking in person to a company representative, and never give out your credit card information over the phone.

And if anyone calls your home and asks for your credit card information, take down the number that comes up on the caller ID and contact the authorities.

While there are scammers who try to defraud homeowners by posing as heating and cooling companies, these instances are relatively rare — and your local heating and cooling contractors are most likely very trustworthy. Still, it never hurts to be vigilant against these types of scams.

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