Cops offer anti-scam advice

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fraud alert

The Chatham-Kent Police Service has some good advice for homeowners to avoid being scammed by people offering services and then taking money and running.

Sooner or later every home needs repairs or improvements.  Home improvement scams usually start with a telephone call or someone knocking on your door offering to ‘help’ you with home repairs.  Fraudsters demand partial or complete payment in advance, followed by poor work or no work at all.

With summer upon us, the CKPS would like to offer the following tips to help prevent homeowners from being the victim of a home improvement scam:

Be cautious if:

  • They tell you that your safety is at risk – you need to make repairs immediately
  • They just happen to be doing work in the area and have left over materials
  • The deal is only good for ‘today only’
  • They talk fast and pressure you to sign a contract or pay money upfront
  • ‘Special offer’ just seems too good to be true – trust your gut instincts
  • They tell you that they saw your home needed repairs and they took the initiative to fix your home, now you owe them money.

Be prepared by:

  • Decide what / if any repairs are actually necessary and how much you can afford to spend
  • Talk to family and friends to get names of reputable contractors
  • Do not pay for repairs in advance
  • Ask for identification to confirm that they are a legitimate tradesperson
  • Do not let them in your home or provide them any personal / financial information, especially if you didn’t initiate the contact
  • If you feel pressured or threatened by their presence on your property, ask them to leave.  If they fail to do so, call police immediately.

Fraudsters often see the elderly or those living alone as easy targets for this type of crime, but we should all take action to educate ourselves on how we can prevent frauds and scams.  For more information, please see http://ckpolice.com/senior-smarts/#1444333333517-1d06201e-08e0

The Chatham-Kent Police Service urges anyone who has contact with a suspicious person to call 519-352-1234 immediately.

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