Halton police are warning residents about an “aggressive and unsolicited” marketing scam in which a female phones homes in Oakville, Burlington, and Milton demanding appointments to complete gas line or water pipe inspections.
“In some instances, unknown males have also attended citizen’s doors demanding entry into their homes to conduct pipe inspections or energy audits,” reads a news release issued by police.
Multiple complaints have been filed about the scam, according to investigators.
Residents are being reminded of these key points:
- New mixed-use development proposed in Burlington
- Burlington mayor to speak at virtual session for city’s business community
- Burlington city council meetings moving to new date and time
- Unless an emergency exists, town and city employees within the region will not be going door-to-door demanding entry into your home. Other utility providers also will also not be attending unannounced unless in an emergency situation.
- Be vigilant and attentive regarding any companies who wish to contact you either in person or by telephone. All utility companies will send correspondence or book an appointment prior to accessing your home to complete their work.
- Ask questions, review and receive a written contract for products and services and only deal with reputable companies they have sought out themselves.
- Identify the individual soliciting their business — ask for photo identification and obtain their name and the company they claim to represent.
- Don’t let these individuals in your home unless you are certain they represent a reputable utility company.
- If you wish to verify their information, have them wait outside while you contact the company they are allegedly representing.
- Alternatively, residents may also ask the person to leave their contact information, allowing you as a homeowner additional time to verify their credentials and the validity of their visit.
- Do not show these individuals copies of your bills or any financial statements and do not give cash to door-to-door people who are offering a service or demanding payment.
- Never share your personal information, such as date of birth, banking information, credit card information or Social Insurance number to a door-to-door salesman.
- Again, take your time to be sure you know you are dealing with a reputable service company.
- Look up the company name of the utility service provider from the telephone book or on-line. Do not simply take the number provided to you by the individual attempting solicit business, as it may not be a legitimate number.
- Be cautious of people who demand immediate and up-front payment for services.
- Do not sign any contracts unless you have verified the information and read the fine print.
Halton police say they’re working with municipalities, utility providers, and Consumer Protection Ontario, which investigates these types of aggressive marketing scams.
Anyone with information is asked to phone Det.-Const. Derek Gray at 3 District criminal investigations bureau – elder abuse and frauds at 905-825-4747 ext. 2344 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.