Police are continuing to receive reports of a home repair scam that is occurring in the Halifax region.
Over the last two months, police have received a number of reports where a group of men knock on the door of a residence and advise the homeowner that their chimney requires repair. In some cases, the group represents themselves as being from a local company who was working in the area, and they offer to do the work but tell the homeowner they first require a deposit for materials.
Members of the Financial Crime Section of the Integrated Criminal Investigation Division are continuing to investigate the scam. Investigators are looking into whether the incidents are related and if there is a connection to a similar scam occurring in Ontario.
Police are sharing tips to keep in mind when getting work done on your home or property:
- Be cautious if a home repair company shows up at your door without being solicited. Don’t be afraid to say no thank you’ and close the door.
- Don’t be pressured into making a decision on the spot. Scammers try to create a sense of urgency so you will take immediate action and don’t have time to think the situation through.
- Check companies with the Better Business Bureau (https://www.bbb.org/local-bbb/better-business-bureau-serving-the-atlantic-provinces) and/or ask for references from previous clients.
- Consider getting written quotes (not estimates) from at least two businesses.
- Be cautious of providing money upfront for work, avoid paying large deposits in advance and arrange staged payments.
- Always agree upon the price, payment arrangements, job details and start/finish dates in writing before any work starts on your home.
- Only pay invoices once you can confirm the work has been carried out and don’t pay in full until the work has been completed as agreed upon.
Call police at 902-490-5016 if you’ve lost money or your identity has been compromised as the result of a scam. You can report a scam where you haven’t been a victim to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501.
More information and scam prevention tips are available at: