Halton Regional Police have issued a warning to residents about a home repair fraud believed to be operating in the region.
Police say the suspects may be intentionally targeting older adults.
According to police, the fraud involves contractors travelling door-to-door selling services that are unsolicited by a consumer. The suspect will provide quotes with prices lower than market value and once a deal is reached, will request a large cash payment.
Based on complaints received by police, initial work may start, however the work will be sub-par and/or incomplete.
“After this initial work, the consumer may be approached to provide more money for supplies or to complete payment for the project,” said police in a press release.
“Once this additional or final payment is received, the contractor disappears and phone calls and text messages will go unanswered leaving the consumer with a damaged or partially completed project.”
Police say there have been two complaints with this similar mode of operation and suspects in Halton.
Police believe there may be additional victims in Halton, as well as outside the region.
The suspects are described as two white males with Irish or possibly Scottish accents.
The first suspect is 25 to 35 years old, approximately 5’9” to 6’0” tall with a heavy build and dark black hair.
The second suspect is also 25 to 35 years old, approximately 5’9” to 6’0” tall with a heavy build and short light blonde or light brown hair. This suspect was also wearing a moustache.
In both cases, police say a younger man was with them claiming to be a son of one of the suspects.
According to police, the suspects that traditionally perpetrate these types of scams can be aggressive and eager to acquire an initial cash deposit from victims. A series of business cards, pamphlets, and printed contracts may also accompany door-to-door sales pitches.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the Regional Fraud Unit at 905-465-8741.
Police are offering the following consumer protection tips and information to help local residents when hiring a contractor for their home:
- Get recommendations from people you trust
- If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is
- Do your research
- Don’t be pressured to make a quick decision
- Ensure the contractor is insured
- Get multiple written estimates
- Check references
- Be cautious of unsolicited offers via the phone, or door to door.
- Put the following items on paper: Work requested and agreed upon, dates (tart, benchmarks and finish), exact cost of the project, a receipt, and a guarantee/warranty information.