Beware home renovation scams in Mississauga and Brampton: Police

Beware home renovation scams in Mississauga and Brampton: Police

Beware home renovation scams in Mississauga and Brampton: Police

Mississauga and Brampton residents, particularly older adults, are being warned by police that scammers are going door-to-door trying to sell would-be victims on bogus home repair schemes.

Peel Regional Police said in a news release today that individuals posing as contractors will show up at people’s doors offering unsolicited services under the guise of representing reputable companies.

“They typically highlight problems with the homeowner’s property, proposing solutions with immediate quotes, business cards and even detailed contracts,” Peel fraud investigators note. “Initially, these fraudulent contractors may request a cash deposit to commence work. However, once work begins, these individuals frequently demand additional funds to complete the project only to vanish without a trace, ceasing all communication with the homeowner.”

Police encourage homeowners to be on the lookout for such schemes and to quickly recognize scammers.

They offer the following information and tips to protect against such fraud:

  • do not be pressured to make a quick decision
  • obtain more than one estimate if doing home repairs
  • be cautious of unsolicited offers via the phone or door-to-door
  • get recommendations from people you trust and check multiple references
  • do your research and check online reviews
  • verify the contractor’s insurance. Ensure the contractor is insured and ask about their warranty
  • draft a written contract clearly outlining the requested and agreed upon work
  • establish a timeline with expected start dates, benchmarks and anticipated finish dates
  • establish an exact cost of the project
  • request a receipt if one is not offered

“Scammers will use any means necessary to convince you that their requests are legitimate,” police add, referring to home repair and other various frauds. “Protect yourself and always avoid sending money, property or personal information to someone you have not met.”

Anyone with information about scams is asked to contact the Peel police Fraud Bureau at 905-453–2121, ext. 3335, or call Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

The home repairs scam warning from police comes as Canadian Fraud Prevention Month comes to a close. It’s an annual campaign that seeks to help people recognize, reject and report fraud.

While police are constantly fighting scammers and alerting residents to the latest frauds year-round, they’ve stepped up their efforts in March.

Earlier this month, Peel police warned the public to be aware of fraudsters using tactics that are “more convincing than ever” as they look to scam people out of their money during tax season.

Police encourage people to visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or Peel Regional Police websites for more information and tips on how to avoid being victimized.

insauga’s Editorial Standards and Policies