Most homeowners aren’t criminals, so they don’t think like a criminal. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to be able to think like one to understand their mindset when it comes to running a scam. November and December are the prime months for chimney scams, so we wanted to address them in today’s blog post and show you how you can avoid falling for them.

Super Low Price

Remember, a true professional never gives their services away practically for free. If someone contacts you out of the blue to discuss your chimney and offers deeply discounted services, hang up the phone. Most reliable and legitimate chimney sweeps are so busy during November and December that we have to schedule your inspection and cleaning for January at the earliest. This smooth talking chimney sweep may offer services starting at $39.99 or even $99.99, but please be warned, they have an ulterior motive.

Scare Tactics

As soon as you invite the scam artist onto your property, they will get busy looking for ways to get more money from you. They will likely find structural damage, or problems with the chimney cap. They may produce a dead rodent or dead bird and tell you they found it in the chimney. They will make sure to tell you that if something like this got into your chimney, it could be blocked or damaged on the inside. They will tell you how dangerous the structural damage is and how it can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, which is deadly. They will watch your reactions and prey on your concerns.

New Liner

They may tell you that you need a new chimney liner, or flue. They may claim that your flue is damaged and needs to be replaced. This is one of the most expensive things a chimney sweep can do, so don’t allow yourself to fall for it.

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself

The very first thing you should do is hang up the phone. Don’t allow them access to your property at all. If we’re already past that point and you’re reading this because you have an appointment with someone you’re not sure you can trust, let them look around and tell them you’d like a second opinion. You don’t always trust the doctor’s or the mechanic’s opinions, so explain that you would like to have someone else look at the chimney and get a couple of different quotes.

Visit the About section of our website and watch the video from NBC 10 News. I was featured as a chimney expert and briefly addressed chimney scams. Don’t trust just any chimney sweep with your chimney services. Lou Curley’s Chimney Service is located in Drexel Hill and we provide all types of chimney services throughout the Main Line. Call us at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.