If it sounds too good to be true, it usually isn't true.
City police reiterate this warning about potential scams every so often -- this time prompted by an increase in calls regarding potential scams.
Door-to-door or by phone, scammers have found various ways to get their schemes into the public, Sgt. Curtis Halcro said on Monday.
“If you have somebody coming to your door that looks shady, don’t hesitate to call the police and we’ll send a patrol member by just to check this person out and ensure they have the proper business licences to be operating a business within the city,” he said.
“Some of the tactics used by these door to door salespeople are often very questionable, and you don’t have to stand there and listen to their spiel. Just say ‘no thank you’ and close the door.
“If you do feel uncomfortable, give the police a call and we’ll attend and check them out.”
A number of scams have been called in to city police lately, including an Air Miles scam, where someone phones claiming the call’s recipient has won 250,000 Air Miles, and all they have to do is provide a credit card number and the Air Miles certificate will arrive in the mail.
“Unfortunately, they tend to pick on the elderly and people who tend to feel sorry for people and get trapped in these situations,” he said.
A potential door-to-door home security scam has been alarming some homeowners in Prince Albert.
Some of the tactics used by these door to door salespeople are often very questionable, and you don’t have to stand there and listen to their spiel. Just say ‘no thank you’ and close the door. Sgt. Curtis Halcro
On Monday, a man was going door-to-door offering a home security system free of charge, so long as the homeowner put a sign about the product in their front yard.
Another recent door-to-door sales pitch had someone offer paving services.
The paving crew was “promising to do driveways and sidewalks for people, and the rates were apparently way below the going rates for that type of service,” Halcro said.
“Fortunately, nobody got stung with that one.”
Some would-be scammers also use mail service to find victims.
City police caution residents to never pay up front for work promised to be done in the future, and to never give out credit card numbers or personal information to anyone over the phone.
Residents should ask for references or to see the salesperson’s business licence.
“Lately we’ve been receiving more and more calls, and we just felt it was time to remind our citizens,” Halcro said.
“Please protect yourself and don’t become the victim of a fraud or scam.”
The Government of Canada has an anti-fraud centre, which can be contacted by calling 1-888-495-8501, or by email at email@example.com.