Scammers defrauding Westonians

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A Weston woman—a widow and senior citizen—says she has been scammed out of more than $30,000 by men pretending to be contractors.

The men offered to fix her driveway and a leak in her basement. They began work, excavating around the foundation, and claimed that ever more work needed to be done. They then asked for increasing payments, in cash. After the final payment, they fled, leaving the work very incomplete. The woman now requires a second contractor to come and finish the job.

The contractors and modus operandi fit the description of a fraud being perpetrated across the city.

  • Seniors are solicited by door-to-door salesmen offering to fix the driveway and basement
  • Work is begun and ever-increasing payments are required for work that doesn’t need to be done
  • They ask for cash and will even walk the victims to the ATM

The police are looking for three men,

The first suspect is described as white, five-foot-10, with short dark hair and a medium build. The suspect had a “heavy Scottish accent.”

The second suspect is described as white, five-foot-10, with fair skin, an athletic build and blue eyes. The suspect also had a “heavy Scottish accent.”

The last suspect is also described as white, five-foot-10, in his late thirties, with dark short hair and a muscular build.

 

Some tips to avoid being scammed:

  • Only hire licensed contractors
  • Do not accept work solicited at your door
  • Get multiple estimates on paper
  • Obtain referrals
  • Do not pay in cash, and never pay upfront

 

Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

4 thoughts on “Scammers defrauding Westonians”

  1. Here we go again, greed and preying on the vulnerable – and quite conceivably, causing a different type of serious health concern for a senior scammed.

    What’d I say in another post, “CruellaDeVille”?

    I think it was, “..a greedy and vile collection of human beings who did not live amongst us.” And, “..land of opportunity?” Also, “..penalty in the land of their ancestors?”

    My sentiments are still the same – they’re scum, too.

    Can only hope that they’ll let their “charming devil” guard down at some point soon – maybe even in the area, again.

    Pretty sure they stopped by our place on a day I was doing some yard work, a while back.

    But, buddy wasn’t “Scottish”.

    He did however have a strong UK accent, and definitely tried to charm me into considering a “new driveway”, too.

    For only about $7500.

    Oh, and his business card – was one of those leaflets from the weekly flyer packages.

    Classy scum bag, he was.

    (Kind of stocky & overweight, like in the photos – driving around in an unmarked white pickup truck scoping out the neighbourhood.)

  2. One of these (tubby) characters recently tried to get me to re-do my driveway. He offered to take up the pavers, re-grade and re-lay them. I can’t remember the price because I wasn’t really listening. On principle I never deal with people coming to the door offering to work on the house so I said I wasn’t interested. I agree with Anon – not Scottish – to me, his accent sounded Irish.

  3. Interesting.
    And, a similar approach & offer to us from the scammers.

    In our case, if I didn’t want to re-do all of the driveway – because the integrity was still intact in many sections – they could do some helpful “patchwork”repairs – for around $7500.

    “Now, how does that sound, sir?”

    “Would you be willing to start soon? In order to protect your investment? We’ll be doing a job around the corner – on that other street, over there – and will have all our heavy equipment near by, ready go?” he advised politely.

    Yeah, thanks.
    But, no thanks was my reaction.

    “Do you have a card?” I asked politely (figuring he was full of baloney).

    He then goes to the pickup truck and gets one of those “flyer coupons” from his “workmates”. You know, the coupons we all know & love from those weekly promotional packages?

    His “card”, as it were.
    (..and no reciprocal markings on their white pickup truck, either).

    Anyway, good ear on their accent, Roy – not being “Scottish” that is.
    (In my case, I just didn’t here an Irish lilt, either.)

    Anyway, consider this:

    Earlier today, while poking around the MSN news & current events site, comes from the Montreal Gazette more news stories about, “Irish accented driveway improvements scammers” charming as ever and taking advantage of Montreal & area residents, too.

    The Gazette’s photos are better..
    ..but different from the crew shown above.

    Hmmm?

    Hey, maybe and similar to the way many gangs of “pickpockets” operate aggressively in other parts of the world (except our own area, for some strange reason), maybe this is a “franchise”?

    Or seriously, a crime ring of scammers with charming “British” accents, just needing to branch out globally for better prospects, and on the run from the law???

    Or maybe it’s just me.
    And, that crazy Guy Ritchie movie that I’ve seen a few too many times, starring Jason Statham & Brad Pitt, “Snatch”.

    Maybe that’s tipping my scales toward the “Irish scammers” angle.

    No matter, and in any case..

    Heads up & get ready to call in any observations to the Toronto Police Services – 12 Division – if you suspect a less than honourable “contractor” roaming around & looking for work.

    And, quite likely they’ll be looking to isolate & target someone a little too trustworthy & helpless, like a senior homeowner.

    Keep an eye open..
    .. help a neighbour out.

    We used to call it,
    “Neighbourhood Watch”.

    Kind of a helpful community program – without needing to get too snoopy.

  4. One additional thought about these kinds of things and it might be more important than we know.

    We all want to trust and receive a great deal.
    It’s very satisfying – when it goes well.

    And, I’m no different than most.

    If and when we agree to an arrangement with anyone working the so-called, “underground economy” they often sweeten the deal (if we’re interested in that kind of thing) by kicking back a healthy savings of at least the cost of the tax, maybe more.

    On the surface, it seems like a very good deal – when we pay them in “cash”.

    But, as most of truly know, we saved that 10% – 20% by paying someone “under the table” which means that certain someone will probably not be claiming their earnings. If so, essentially cutting out the tax man and the government’s share – the tariffs.

    Big win for the “cash” recipient – who may not be an honourable trades person, and will not be obliged to guarantee their workmanship.

    Why?

    If and when, push comes to shove they know that the customer is a little less than honest, too – having entered that deal and therefore perhaps making then somewhat complicit, too.

    If the contractor is above board & has no problem being honourable about their efforts, the invoices & statements issued are a form of insurance that we can lean on.

    And, that “may” be worth the extra cost.

    Worse comes to worse, when we have to call in law enforcement to assist because we’ve been legally wronged, it’s certainly less embarrassing to explain that failed relationship – when we have a documented contract or invoice in hand, because we’ve dealt with a legitimate, above board business operator.

    As I suggested earlier, I’ve crossed the line, too.
    Just haven’t been burnt, yet.

    As I age, the embarrassment alone might kill me.

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