Home renovation fraud on rise in Burlington and across Halton Region
Published October 17, 2023 at 12:00 pm
Does the person at the door offering to fix your roof or repair your driveway for a real good price sound too good to be true?
Chances are, it is.
Halton Regional Police are warning residents in Burlington, Oakville, Milton, and Halton Hills about a home repair fraud operating in the region.
Police say there have been multiple complaints with a similar approach by similar suspects in Halton, with a number of these complaints happening in Burlington.
There also may be additional victims, police believe, outside of our region.
The fraud residents should be aware of involves a contractor travelling door-to-door selling various services that are unsolicited by the homeowner.
The person at the door pitches services that include but are not limited to chimney repair, general masonry work, step and driveway repairs, general debris cleaning, roof repairs or waterproofing.
The suspect will then at times provide a quote with prices lower than market value and once a deal is reached, will ask for a large cash payment.
“Based on previous complaints, initial work may start, however the crew will not return to complete the agreed upon job,” said Halton police. “After this initial work, the consumer may be approached to provide more money for supplies or to complete payment for the project.
“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 describe the man approaching homes and soliciting services as white and middle-aged, with a heavy Irish accent.
Police investigated a similar scam last summer (2022) and earlier this year in July.
“The contractor or suspects that traditionally perpetrate these types of scams can be aggressive and eager to acquire an initial cash deposit from victims,” said police. “A series of business cards, pamphlets, and printed contracts may also accompany door-to-door sales pitches.”
The following consumer protection tips and information are being shared to help consumers 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 it on Paper
- Work requested and agreed upon.
- Dates – Start, benchmarks, and finish.
- Exact Cost of the project.
- Acquire a receipt.
- Acquire a guarantee / warranty information.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the Regional Fraud Unit at 905-465-8741.
Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or through their website at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.inhalton's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising