York police warn citizens regarding spriong-time scams

As warm weather approaches, our attention turns to tasks such as lawn maintenance, home renovation and driveway repair. While there is no shortage of businesses willing to complete our spring to-do list for us, not all are reputable. York Regional Police is warning residents, especially seniors, to be aware of sales, contractor and telephone scams.

Although no recent incidents have been reported in York Region, members of the public should be vigilant when obtaining services or purchasing products from a sales representative who calls your home or attends your front door unexpectantly.

Criminals are opportunists; do not give them the opportunity to make you a victim of crime. They can be very persuasive, using all types of excuses, explanations and offers to lead you away from using your common sense. Fraud can be avoided when you do not participate. It is important to be armed with information, so education, good judgment and a healthy dose of skepticism are the best defences against becoming a victim.

York Regional Police reminds the public of the following:
– If someone attends your home to offer a product or service, ask to see identification
– If you are being solicited by phone, ask for a call back number to confirm the legitimacy of the sales person or agency
– If you have doubts about the validity of the product or service being offered, hang up the phone or politely close your front door
– It is important not to provide too much information to strangers. The number of occupants in your home, the hours you work and evening activities that leave your house vacant, should not be topics of conversation
– Do not provide money or information on personal finances such as credit card numbers to strangers or untrustworthy persons
– Always ask for a written quote on official company letterhead
– Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions regarding the company’s history, the products or services it provides and references you can contact
– Always compare costs before making a financial commitment and solicit at least two bids for service
– Don’t fall for high-pressure sales tactics. Reputable companies should not force you to make a decision within a limited time frame
– Report suspicious people to police. We will respond to these calls

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