OPP warn of springtime maintenance scams

Prince Edward OPP. (Gazette File Photo)

Unsolicited sales pitches by construction outfits and contractors in the Quinte area have local police forces on alert.

The Quinte West Detachment along with the Prince Edward County Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are making residents aware of springtime home maintenance and repair frauds.

Over the last, a week a number of Quinte West and Prince Edward County residents have been approached about having their driveways paved, having a new roof installed or general home repair jobs completed.

While there are some reputable companies that might employ this tactic, agreeing to terms on the spot with some construction and maintenance companies can be rife with peril.

Some of these individuals can be pushy and will go to great lengths to secure a job along with prepayment before the work is completed. They use tactics that make homeowners feel they are receiving a price that is too good to pass up or that residences may be compromised if the work is not completed.

There are many ways to prevent these types of fraud such as:

• Be suspicious if you are approached for the repairs or work.

• Check identification and references of the contractor or company.

• Make sure the contractor is licensed.

• Get at least 3 written quotes for work that you need completed.

• Ask for an itemized bill for the repairs and materials.

• Get a contract for the work being completed including a timetable for the work.

• Make any cheque payable to the company name and ensure the cheque is written in a way that can’t be altered.

Above all else, police implore the public to never provide a cash deposit before the agreed upon work is completed.

If you are not sure, consult a family member or close friend about the work and the price that is being quoted. If you feel the sales people attending your property are trying to intimidate you and are putting pressure on you, ask them to leave. Write down any information you may observe about their description, number of people, and the vehicles that they are using, especially a licence plate. Call 888-310-1122 to report them to the OPP immediately.

There are many credible and reputable contractors and businesses that will provide the above information requested by customers.