When a man with a dubious offer comes knocking, don’t let him in.
That’s the message the Abbotsford Police Department has for the public after receiving numerous reports of a door-to-door scam artist trying to deceive residents.
Sgt. Judy Bird said a man has been knocking on doors and telling people he needs to inspect their furnaces. He has claimed to be from EnerGuide, BC Hydro and FortisBC but police have confirmed with all three companies that the man is not their employee.
Wearing a high-vis vest with an ID badge and holding a clipboard, the man has looked the part and managed to talk his way into a number of Abbotsford homes, Bird said. After “inspecting” home furnaces, he invariably informs homeowners they’re due for furnace maintenance or replacements and turns on the pressure for them to pay upfront.
Chilliwack RCMP issued a warning of a similar scam last month and Facebook users in Mission have reported it being attempted there too.
Bird said no one has reported paying but victims of fraud are often too embarrassed to admit falling for the hoax.
Bird also said people are often reluctant to call police when someone suspicious has come to their door because they are worried about taxing their resources. She said they shouldn’t hesitate to call the non-emergency line and check, as legitimate companies and charities often inform police when and where they will be canvassing in advance.
Bird also said a common phone scam continues to target Abbotsford residents – recently including an APD officer. The caller will claim to be from law enforcement or the Canada Revenue Agency and will threaten arrest if they do not pay. Bird said that such calls are fake and people should hang up.