JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey today warned consumers of scammers who may take advantage of the summer heat. With temperatures in the high 90’s, air conditioners malfunction, causing an uptick in the need for home repairs. Scammers will often attempt to take advantage of the heat advisory to sell unneeded repairs.
“I want to educate Missourians of possible scams that may arise during the hottest months of the year,” said Attorney General Bailey. “Consumers should keep an eye out for these predatory schemes, while also knowing that my office will go after anyone who takes advantage of innocent Missourians.”
Other potential schemes involve scammers luring consumers with advertisements that offer low-cost services for duct work cleaning. Once the company arrives, they claim that consumers’ air ducts are contaminated or contain mold, later to take consumers’ money and provide little to no actual services.
Attorney General Bailey offers the following tips on how to avoid these common schemes in the summer:
Replacing functional parts: Claiming that HVAC parts need to be replaced when nothing is wrong — often quoting high prices for part replacements in an attempt to steer customers to purchase a new HVAC system as a better option.
Selling unnecessary amounts of refrigerant: Tricking consumers into buying more than is necessary to maintain a system, even hitting victims with this scam multiple times when the company is called to fix the next problem with the same A/C unit.
Recharge scam: Saying that a refrigerant recharge is a solution to A/C problems. This is a ploy to sell an unneeded service — know that AC does not need to be recharged.
Starting work too soon: Starting to perform work before consumers understand or have agreed to terms of a contract. Sometimes one technician will distract the consumer while another technician removes or dismantles the A/C unit.
Too-good-to-be-true prices: Offering repairs or quotes at incredibly low prices or throwing in “freebies.” Companies could be cutting corners to deliver on the too-good-to-be-true prices, creating cause for further repairs and expenses.
Attorney General Bailey encourages those who believe they are victims of an HVAC scam to contact the Attorney General’s Office’s Consumer Hotline at 800-392-8222 or online at ago.mo.gov