COMOX VALLEY, B.C – The Comox Valley RCMP are warning residents about a scamming handyman who has targeted seniors in the area before.
In a press release, police said that in past years, a man has gone door-to-door offering services such as eavestrough cleaning, yard work or other handyman services.
Police said the man gained the trust of homeowners and then took valuables from their home or failed to complete a job he had already been paid for.
This man was described as being in his 60s, heavy set with grey hair.
“There are many honest, hardworking craftsmen out there eager to get your business, but people need to be aware of fraudsters trying to take advantage of them,” Cst. Holly Carlson of the Comox Valley RCMP Crime Reduction Unit said in the statement.
The statement included a list of helpful advice for residents to avoid the scammer.
Tips to avoid the handyman scam:
- Never pay up front – This makes it too easy for the fraudster to take your money and leave without completing the job.
- “They were just in the neighbourhood.”– It is suspicious when someone was just in the neighbourhood and happened to notice a problem with your home’s roof, driveway, chimney, windows, etc. This is not a company who is going to every door offering everyone a service, you have been targeted.
- More than one – When a pair of this kind comes knocking, it’s not uncommon for one to try to distract you (often outside) while the other sneaks inside for a quick theft.
- Check for Identification – don’t be afraid to ask for identification, a business card or some sort of credentials.
- Do your homework before you commit to anything.
RCMP are asking residents to be vigilant and to call the police immediately if someone suspicious comes to their door offering handyman services.