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Pickering man charged in $1M home reno scam aimed at vulnerable Ontarians

A man in handcuffs. Pixabay file

A Pickering man has been arrested after a fraud investigation revealed that someone was scamming people with claims they had been awarded money from a lawsuit, according to Waterloo Regional Police.

Police said their investigation began late last year when they discovered that vulnerable people had been taken advantage of across southern Ontario by a fraudster.

A police spokesperson told Global News that people were allegedly scammed in Waterloo Region, Toronto, Hamilton, Welland, St Catharines and Dunnville.

A release from police said that a man was telling “homeowners they had been awarded money due to a lawsuit against HVAC companies for HVAC contracts they had previously entered into for various products, including air conditioners, furnaces, HEPA filters, and water filtration systems.”

The scammer would then tell his victims that the only way they would get the money is if they had renovations completed while other high-pressure tactics were used to get them to sign contracts for work to be done, according to police.

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They said the man would then get contractors to do quick and poor-quality renovations at the victims’ homes.

“Through the following days or weeks, the accused would then register Notice of Security Interest (NOSI) titles on the homeowner’s property for amounts ranging between $40,000 and $70,000,” the release from police explained.

Police pegged the total potential loss to be around $1 million.

A 32-year-old man from Pickering is facing eight charges of fraud exceeding $5,000.

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