On Your Side: Springfield business deals with imposters on social media

Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 6:23 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Whether it’s a plumber, a dog walker, or in this case, a duct cleaner, we see advertisements for services all the time in our Facebook newsfeed.

We assume those people are soliciting real businesses. Turns out, there are imposters.

“We’ve worked very hard to build this company over four decades,” said Tyler McGauley, owner of LCS Kleen-Aire Inc.

McGauley says he’s dealing with about 30 imposters.

“It does make me sick,” he said.

Posts are popping up in Facebook groups offering duct cleaning services. The accounts linked to the post say they’re with LCS Kleen-Aire.

“If I was a criminal, that’s what I would do too. You’re not going to start something new. You are going to go after something that has legitimacy and brand awareness and ride the coattails of that,” said McGauley.

Real LCS workers do not advertise in groups. They use the company’s page to communicate with customers. Also, they don’t book through Facebook messenger.

The company has a 417 phone number. Scammers are using an 816 phone number. McGauley believes the crooks are trying to collect deposits.

“I don’t know if they are overseas. I don’t know if they are in our backyard. I have no idea,” he said.

Ashley Reynolds called the 816 number. The company answered as LCS-Kleen Aire.

Reynolds was told they’re in Springfield. She talked with Allan, the manager. He would not tell his last name or the company’s address.

He said he could schedule Reynolds for November 16. $249 for an unlimited duct cleaning. He asked for her address. Reynolds gave the station’s. She told him she’s a journalist who received complaints his business is fake. Then, Allan accused Reynolds of using a fake name.

McGauley says no one named Allan works at LCS.

The estimate Allan gave is a lowball offer. Consider that a red flag.

When in doubt, look up the company number. Call and verify any ad or post you see on social media.

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