Police warn of furnace scams
The Calgary Police Service is again warning residents after receiving several reports of aggressive and potentially fraudulent furnace salespeople visiting homes in eastern Calgary.
The salespeople go door-to-door telling residents that 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 are currently working with The City of Calgary Licence Division to investigate these incidents. Calgarians who have similar experiences are asked to report it to the Calgary Police Service non-emergency line at 403-266-1234.
Police and The City offer the following tips to Calgarians when faced with situations like these:
- 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. The City of Calgary’s new contractor tips and tools page provides valuable advice and an online business licence database for valid contractors.
- 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’s Technical Assistance Centre to make sure it is true.
For more tips on recognizing legitimate building inspectors, please read this post on the Calgary City News Blog. For information on building codes and how to protect yourself from contractor fraud, visit calgary.ca/myhome.