July 5, 2016 3:59 pm
Updated: July 6, 2016 7:17 pm

Door-to-door furnace scam reported in Alberta

Police are warning residents about a furnace scam in Calgary,

Tony Tighe / Global News
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The Calgary Police Service (CPS) is warning about a furnace scam that is once again affecting residents in the city’s east.

Police said they have been getting reports of door-to-door salespeople claiming to be building inspectors who must be allowed access to the home’s furnace or the residents could face fines.

Service Alberta said Wednesday it’s also investigating similar consumer complaints from residents in Edmonton, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Red Deer and Grande Prairie.

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“Among the complaints received, salespeople allegedly imply they are conducting government-sanctioned inspections of furnaces or other related systems (i.e. hot water tanks) and demand entry into the home,” a Service Alberta spokesperson wrote in an email to Global News.

In a news release Tuesday, CPS said “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.”

The police are working with the city to investigate these incidents, and they are requesting anyone who has experienced a similar incident to report it to the police non-emergency line at 403-266-1234.

Service Alberta asked residents who feel they’ve been treated unfairly by a business to call the Consumer Contact Centre at 1-877-427-4088 to discuss available options.

In the meantime, CPS and the city are offering these tips and related information:

  • Residents should always ask to see identification from door-to-door salespeople.
  • City of Calgary building inspectors generally only visit homes by appointment or in an emergency. They will always have City of Calgary photo identification and drive marked City of Calgary vehicles.
  • Ensure all contractors are properly licensed and insured.
  • If you are told your furnace does not meet safety codes and needs to be replaced, you can check with the City of Calgary to make sure it is true.

Service Alberta declined to provide names of companies allegedly involved because it could “jeopardize any future actions.”

With files from Erika Tucker

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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