HOW TO AVOID PAYING FOR A FURNACE SCAM
Every year, we hear about a few Winnipeg homeowners who get tricked into a furnace scam. The Winnipeg Police and Manitoba Hydro both have put out warnings about what to watch out for.
As a licensed, professional Winnipeg plumber and heater, these scams hit at the heart. Bad people out there are taking advantage of an important piece of home infrastructure and giving us a good guys a bad name.
The person will either say that they are there to perform a furnace inspection or they want to check the operating status of the heating system.
This article will help you identify a furnace scam and avoid any financial loss.
Remember: Even if they don’t get your money, a win for them is being allowed in your house. Once inside, they’re looking at all the goodies you got.
Corporate logos and supporting business documents
Furnace scammers are getting more and more sophisticated in their approach to completing their scam. A lot of times, they will be wearing branded clothing (uniforms), have business cards and other supporting materials like brochures and letterheads.
If you show suspicion, they might encourage you to call the number for yourself, or go to the website. If you do, it’ll be their partner in crime on the other end of the line, or a fake website.
Important: Private companies, including their employees, have no legal authority to enter a home to perform furnace inspections.
Manitoba Hydro impersonators
It’s important to know that Manitoba Hydro employees do go door to door for various reasons. However, they will always have official Manitoba Hydro credentials, and they will never insist on entering your home.
Sometimes, these scammers will tell you they are from Manitoba Hydro, and they might even have similar looking credentials. If you are suspicious, ask them for their credentials, have them wait outside, lookup the phone number for Hydro separately from any numbers on their credentials, and call them to confirm that it is an actual employee.
If you do encounter a suspicious person, call the Winnipeg Police non-emergency line at 204.986.6222.
Try to sell you a furnace for 0%
Once these people gain access to your furnace, they will tell you that it needs replacing and that you can finance through them for 0% interest and have it added to your Hydro bill.
On the contrary, you should always look for several quotes from Winnipeg heating companies to compare pricing and services.