With many outdoor home renovations being planned during the spring and summer months, the Ottawa Police Service is warning residents to be vigilant about agreeing to any repair work on roofs or driveways with door to door paving or roofing contractors. The Fraud Unit of the Ottawa Police has received 10 complaints in the past month about residents hiring these contractors, only to be scammed out of money.
“These guys are very organized, they will go up on your roof and come back with a photo that shows serious damage to scare their victims, only it’s a photo that was taken somewhere else,” said Fraud Unit Sergeant Chantal Arsenault. “And when they are at your door they will agree to lower their fees and push you to make a decision, taking large upfront cash payments, and then will either not complete the work or disappear.”
As we head into a heavy season for home improvement, it’s important to protect yourself. While most contractors are reputable, be skeptical of any that ask you for a lot of money upfront or offer incredibly low deals. And if they are pressuring you to respond quickly, just walk away.
For any work that you agree to have done on your home, get everything in writing before you hand over any money, including details of the exact work to be completed along with an agreed monetary limit on any extra costs.
You can protect yourself by verifying their business profile on places like the Better Business Bureau or by calling our partners at 211 to learn how to best proceed. If you have been the victim of a contractor scam, you can visit the Ottawa Police website to file a fraud report online.