May 13, 2019 4:28 pm
Updated: May 13, 2019 4:29 pm

Waterloo police warn homeowners of high-pressure sales scam

A Waterloo Regional Police cruiser.

Kevin Nielsen / Global News File

Waterloo Regional Police issued a warning on Monday about a sales scam which has cost some area residents thousands of dollars.

Police say provincial legislation was passed in March 2018 which banned door-to-door sales of a wide variety of goods and services including many air and water home services ranging from duct cleaning services, furnaces and water filters.

They say that as a workaround, some companies will offer free services and products over the phone in order to get a salesperson in the door.

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The salesperson will then look to get the homeowner to make a purchase with a signed contract, which is in turn, sold on to a third-party lender.

Police say that the company will place a lien on the home unbeknownst to the homeowner which often remains undiscovered until the house is placed on the market.

They offered up two instances in which elderly homeowners were targeted by companies that used high-pressure sales tactics to bilk victims out of tens of thousands of dollars.

Police say that a 91-year-old man was targeted three times, signing contracts for a furnace, a water softener and a water purification system, which in total cost him $30,000.

Another elderly couple signed a deal for an air conditioner and a furnace but were unaware that the 120-month contract held a clause for fluctuating interest rates. Once their daughter took over their finances, she noticed the monthly payments and discovered that a lien had been placed upon their home.

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Police offered a variety of options to protect themselves from these situations which include not allowing salespeople in your home unless you made initial contact.

If you do allow one entrance and they are acting in a manner you don’t like, call the police for help right away.

Also, contact any elderly or vulnerable people in your life to make certain they have not fallen victim to any of these scams.

Police say that if you have already signed one of these deals, a title search can be done to see if there are any liens on it.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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