Ottawa police are warning about a recent increase in door-to-door contractor scams, with five reports in the past two weeks costing residents an estimated $250,000.
The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) said in a Friday news release the scam always follows the same basic pattern.
The scam artists typically move in pairs and claim to be contractors working on a neighbour's home, OPS said. At the door, they say they can offer a great deal on expensive construction work costing upwards of $100,000, such as foundation repair.
OPS said most of the reports identify the suspects as white men aged 40 to 50 who speak with Irish or Scottish accents.
The suspects ask for money up front, police said, and in most cases start the work but never complete it.
"Protect yourself when you meet these folks at the door," said OPS fraud unit acting Sgt. Shaun Wahbeh in a news release.
"These individuals tend to rotate from city to city with the same scam and we started to see them return to Ottawa last month."
Police advised that a reputable business would take time to go through contracts with clients and provide a quote with reasonable market rates.