Police are advising the public of a home repair scam recently reported in the Halifax region.
On May 13 a group of men knocked on the door of a residence and advised the homeowner that their chimney required repair. The group represented themselves as being from a local company who was working in the area and provided what appeared to be a legitimate business card. They offered to do the work but told the homeowner they first required a deposit for materials. They received the deposit but did not return to complete the job. Through the investigation, it was determined that the men were not employed by the local company.
Members of the Financial Crime Section of the Integrated Criminal Investigation Division are continuing to investigate the scam. Investigators are aware of a similar scam in Ontario where the same company name was used and are investigating to see if the incidents are connected.
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 up front 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: