The Huron County OPP has investigated five cases of suspicious salespeople going door to door in Huron County neighbourhoods within the last week.
Residents in Goderich, Brussels, and Blyth have had to deal with sales agents employing unscrupulous tactics trying to make a sale.
In the reported cases, the scammers have claimed to be employed with legitimate home energy companies.
In some of these cases the sales agents have appeared at the doorstep without identification and a company vehicle.
The scammers will often ask to take a look at your hot water heater tank.
After a quick check of the tank they will tell you that the tank is in poor repair and needs to be immediately replaced.
Other times they will ask to look at your hydro bill and will offer you an "incredible deal".
Some the misleading practices employed are as follows:
Telling you that your current energy provider is no longer in business and they are taking over the contract
Dressing in an uniform to imply they work for a utility provider
Telling you that your hot water tank needs to be replaced by a Canadian product
Showing you false safety bulletins claiming you need to replace your tank
Some of the questions you should be asking are:
Who are you and who do you work for?
What is the length of the contract? Are there high exit fees to break the contract?
What are the rates? Quite often they are higher than your current provider.
The OPP is reminding residents of the following suggestions in an effort to protect residents from being duped:
There is no obligation to open your door and allow a stranger into your home
You never have to provide a copy of your hydro bill on demand
Call your current provider to verify claims
Never feel pressured to sign a contract; take your time and review it carefully
Under the Ontario Consumer Protection Act all consumers have the right to cancel a contract, for any reason if it is within the 10 day "cooling off" period.
If you want them to leave, ask them to and if they don't call police.