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Company urges province to crack down on door-to-door scammers

SASKATOON – AlarmTek said that over the past several years more than one thousand people in Saskatchewan have been victims of door-to-door fraudsters posing as alarm company representatives.

The company now says it’s time for the provincial government to step up and impose stricter laws, such as requiring a business to have a proper address.

“In Alberta, that’s one of the stipulations they look at, you actually have to have a business office,” said AlarmTek General Manager Jeff Barnhardt.

“We’d like to see them not only review but change the Direct Seller’s Act, put in some simple safeguards like having criminal record checks done on agents that go door-to-door,” he said.

Barnhardt said Saskatchewan is behind other provinces when it comes to preventing fraud.

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“I know other jurisdictions across the country, like B.C., and municipal jurisdictions, have put these types of measures in place to great success,” he explained.

Patrick Heffernan with the Better Business Bureau said fraudulent activity has skyrocketed over the past several years, and the trigger is Saskatchewan’s growing economy.

“It’s a known thing, around the world, frauds and scams follow economic activity,” he said.

“We generally require door-to-door businesses and sales people in Saskatchewan to be licensed and bonded,” said Eric Greene with the province’s Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority.

“To get a direct seller’s licence we require a business name that is actively registered with Information Services Corporation’s corporate registry, the business’ physical location, and authorization to conduct criminal record checks for partners, directors, officers and sales people,” Greene explained.

But AlarmTek said fraudsters continue to put thousands out of pocket, and the company said existing laws are clearly not being properly enforced.