SASKATOON – A number of Saskatoon residents are angry after being scammed by people posing as alarm company representatives.
When Travis Kieluk bought his AlarmTek system, he hoped it would make his family safer. Unfortunately, he says it made his home a target.
He and a number of other people in Saskatoon were approached by a man pretending to be an AlarmTek representative.
“My wife had answered the door initially…I came downstairs, asked the gentleman, you know…what I could do for him,” Kieluk explained.
“He made a claim initially to both my wife and myself…you know, that he was wanting to replace older equipment…stuff like that.”
The company AlarmTek said the scam has put close to one thousand Saskatonians out of pocket over the past several years.
AlarmTek General Manager Jeff Barnhardt said it’s easy for scam artists to simply glance at the alarm company sign outside of someone’s home, and then claim to be an employee of that company.
“We don’t think that’s the answer, to take down the signs,” he said.
“I think that would be a capitulation to this type an assault. What we’ve decided to do is educate our customers and make them aware of this.”
Barnhardt said those duped by the scam over the past few years have often given out their credit card information and unknowingly signing a second contract.
Staff Sgt. Keith Briant with the Saskatoon police economic crime unit said it’s very hard to prove that the fraudsters operate under a false company name. He said most victims are too ashamed to come forward to police.
“Number one is always check for identification,” he said.
“They should be able to produce it to you. Number two, do they have a direct sellers license. Everybody that’s peddling door-to-door in Saskatoon has to have a license.”
Police are warning the public to be vigilant, and report anything suspicious.