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Ottawa police issue a warning about 'shady contractors' ahead of spring renovation season


Ottawa police are urging people to be aware of shady contractors offering repair work this spring, after investigators received 10 reports of residents scammed out of their money over the past month.

As we head into the busy season for home improvements, police say you should be "vigilant" about agreeing to any roof and driveway repair work by door-to-door paving or roofing contractors.

Tips to protect yourself include getting everything in writing before you hand over your money and walk away if contractors are "pressuring you to respond quickly."

"These guys are very organized, they will go up on your roof and come back with a photo that shows serious damage to scare their victims, only it’s a photo that was taken somewhere else," Sgt. Chantal Arsenault said in a statement.

"And when they are at your door they will agree to lower their fees and push you to make a decision, taking large upfront cash payments, and then will either not complete the work or disappear.”

Police say you should "be skeptical" of any contractors that ask you for a lot of money upfront or "offer incredibly low deals."

"For any work that you agree to have done on your home, get everything in writing before you hand over any money, including details of the exact work to be completed along with an agreed monetary limit on any extra costs," police said in a statement.

If you have been the victim of a contractor scam, Ottawa police urge you to file a fraud report online. Top Stories

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