Handyman Arrested for Fraud in Oakville Facing More Charges
A Toronto handyman is facing more 13 more charges for allegedly bilking seniors in Oakville and Burlington.
Halton police arrested the suspect on Oct. 30.
The man is being charged with a total of 23 counts of fraud stemming from door-to-door handyman scams committed in Oakville and Burlington.
The suspect was initially arrested on Aug. 23 in connection with cases in Oakville.
Investigators then issued a call for tips from Burlington residents who they believed were linked to the scam.
Police allege the suspect offered services to complete eavestrough repair, tree cutting, roofing or other home maintenance and didn’t start the work he was paid to do, and doesn’t have a registered business or insurance coverage.
Elwood Bowler, 54, is now facing new charges: 12 counts of fraud under $5,000, and one charge of fraud over $5,000.
He was released with a pending court date.
Halton police are cautioning the public not to engage in door-to-door sales activities and to seek out products and services from reputable licenced companies themselves.
Home owners should be aware of their rights as consumers and follow some basic safety precautions such as:
- Obtain three quotes for a job with references.
- Do not pay the total balance for the job up front or in cash.
- Take your time to research the companies you have working on your property.
One resource for the public is Consumer Protection Ontario. You can research complaint reports on companies and individuals who may be trying to sell you a product or service you may not necessarily need at your door. Don’t be a victim of high pressure sales tactics, say police.
The public are encouraged to report fraudulent activity to Halton Regional Police at: 905-825-4777, or file a fraud report at: Fraud Intake Office 905-465-8741.