Ontario homeowner falls victim to mortgage scam, police believe there are more victims

FILE - A person signs forms. Getty Images

The London Police Service has released a photograph of a suspect charged in a mortgage-related fraud and is urging anyone who has had dealings with the man to contact them.

Currently, police have identified two incidents of mortgage-related fraud involving the same suspect in London, Ont., and in Cambridge.

Police began investigating last summer after being contacted by a reverse mortgage salesperson who was concerned about a potential client.

According to police, an elderly homeowner signed contracts to install various products in their home — like attic insulation, a water filter and water softener — after being approached by a door-to-door salesperson in July 2021. The contract involved monthly payments for a “lengthy period.”

Police say that after the products were installed, liens were secured against the home without the victim knowing.

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In March of 2022, police say the suspect came to the victim’s home and told them he could help with the contracts and debts owed through a private mortgage. Police say the suspect filled out a mortgage application, the victim signed it, and a high-interest private mortgage was then issued in the name of the victim.

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Police say the suspect then “convinced the victim that he could assist with additional renovations to the home at significant cost to the victim. It is further believed that the total amounts paid exceeded the cost of the work completed.”

It was at this point that the suspect allegedly convinced the victim to apply for a reverse mortgage to pay back the private loan. The reverse mortgage salesperson was concerned about the situation and contacted police, the service says.

A 28-year-old London, Ont., man is facing fraud charges in the case, including two counts of fraud over $5,000.

“Through the course of the investigation, detectives learned that the same suspect was involved in a similar mortgage-related fraud in Cambridge,” police added.

A photograph of the suspect as well as information on his known aliases can be found on the London Police Service’s website.

When asked, police would not say whether the suspect and the initial door-to-door salesperson were the same individual, saying only that “as the matter is before the courts now no further details will be provided in relation to the investigation.”

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However, police again stressed that they believe “there may be additional victims and they are urged to come forward should they have had any dealings with the accused.”

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