Advance fee scam targets Kitchener Waterloo businesses and fake water heater repairmen bilk residents. Scams abound.

caslteIt’s an old scam. I talked about it before and how it targeted a landlord friend of mine. Last week the advance fee scam targeted local catering businesses.

It works like this. The “buyer” sends a certified check to cover some future amount for a product or service. (The buyer insists that he pays in advance.) The receiver puts the check in the bank and waits to supply the goods or services. Then the buyer cancels and asks the seller to send the money back (sometimes the buyer asks that part of the amount be sent to third party.) Either way the seller sends money back before the first check clears. The first check is, of course, a fake.

Last week a couple of Kitchener Waterloo catering companies became victims of this scam.

And here’s another scam happening now in Waterloo Region:

Homeowners are being targeted again by fake water heater inspectors. The door-to-door salesmen, dress like repairmen, say they’re in the neighborhood to schedule water heater replacements. They show you safety bulletins implying your water heater isn’t safe any more and that you have to replace it. Specifically, homeowners are being told that the venting on their water heater is a safety hazard, and the alternate water heater provider can install a water heater for free.

The company is also removing the anti-scald valve from the water heaters, even though the Ontario Building Code requires the valve be in place on replacement water heaters. Thirdly, the company does not make customers aware that if they are cancelling their hot water heater rental contract with Kitchener Utilities, cancellation fees apply.

Kitchener Utilities have received numerous complaints.

There is always a new scam, or a new twist on an old scam. Your home is your castle. Keep your drawbridge up.

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