Peterborough Police have issued a Fraud Alert regarding an Ontario Energy Group representative. On September 30th, a Ontario Energy Group representative approached an elderly victim at his King George Street home. The representative from the company was able to convince the victim to let him into his home and inspect his furnace. The rep then advised the victim that his furnace was not up to code and that he had to purchase a new furnace immediately. The victim’s furnace was only 10 years old while the average life span of a furnace can be anywhere from 16 to 25 years. The company then removed the victim’s furnace and replaced it with a newer model but a model of significantly lesser value. Anyone who has been approached by Ontario Energy Group representatives in the last few months is asked to call Constable Patricia Shaw at 705-876-1122 ext. 214. (Note: Ontario Energy Group is a "legit" company, but "the issue is that they use 'strong arm tactics' so it is fair to say their sales tactics are not legit," police tell us.)
Police remind citizens of the following...
• If someone comes to your door, ask to see some identification showing their name and company they work for. You do not have to let them in, and they must leave if you ask them to.
• Door to door sales people can use high pressure tactics and can be aggressive in nature, and consumers may find themselves in a situation where they purchase a product or sign up for a service they neither need nor want.
• Remember: Even businesses that are licensed could still try to scam you by acting dishonestly.
• Before you decide to pay any money, if you are interested in what a door-to-door salesperson has to offer, take the time to find out about their business and their offer.
• Don’t be rushed into making a decision, there is often a limited time offer where you need to commit to a purchase or service.
• Do not sign a contract that you do not understand, have not fully read or that has blank spaces.
• Ask the sale representative to leave their brochure or business card and you can contact them at a later date if interested.
• In Ontario, Consumers have a 10 day cooling off period where a contract that was signed in their home can be cancelled (for any reason).
• Always get independent advice if an offer involves money, personal information, time or commitment.
***If you spot a scam or have been scammed, get help. Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501, the Competition Bureau at 1-800-348-5358 or Peterborough Lakefield Community Police Service at 705-876-1122.