Police issue warning of furnace inspection scams
Calgary police are warning Calgarians of an increase in reports of furnace inspection scams targeting seniors.
From Thursday, Aug. 10, to Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023, we have received approximately 10 reports of an unknown man claiming to work for The City of Calgary and attempting to obtain permission to enter the homes of seniors to inspect their furnaces and demanding payment. No payment was given in any of these reported incidents.
Generally speaking, fraudulent furnace salespeople go door-to-door telling residents they are building inspectors and that they must be allowed inside to inspect the home’s furnace or else the residents could face fines. Once inside, the salespeople claim to find problems with the furnace and/or hot water tank and aggressively try to sell the homeowner new ones.
Police and The City offer the following tips to Calgarians when approached by an unknown furnace inspector:
- Always ask to see identification to confirm that people are who they say. Legitimate door-to-door salespeople are required to have visible identification in Calgary.
- City of Calgary building inspectors generally only visit homes by appointment, or in emergencies. They always have City of Calgary photo identification and drive marked City of Calgary vehicles.
- Before allowing a contractor into your home, ensure you are dealing with an approved contracting company that is properly licensed and insured.
- If you encounter a door-to-door salesperson or business without a business licence, report it to 311.
- If you are told your furnace does not meet safety codes and must be replaced, you can often check this information with The City of Calgary to make sure it is true.
More information on how seniors can protect themselves is available on the Calgary Police Service website.
Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call the police non-emergency number at 403-266-1234. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers through any of the following methods:
APP: P3 Tips