It's fall and the election is full swing, but the fall also seems to bring with it new opportunity for scammers and ne'er-do-wells looking to swindle hard working Guelphites out of a few bucks. The City of Guelph sent out a warning yesterday that the old water treatment system fraud is back in town going door-to-door in an attempt to bamboozle Royal City citizens. If you are approached, and you think there's something fishy about the offer, they're advising you to get in touch with Guelph Police.
Here's the press release:
The City of Guelph and Guelph Police Services have learned that residents are being approached by sales people who claim to represent the City for the purposes of selling water treatment systems. Sales people are asking to enter residents’ homes to view or inspect their water systems.
“City employees do not go door–to–door selling water–related products,” said Peter Busatto, Water Services General Manager. “Any City employee visiting a residence will carry photo identification, and anyone being approached by those claiming to represent the City, or asking to enter their home, should request to see official identification.”
There is currently no mandate, from the provincial or federal government, or the City of Guelph, requiring residents to install additional filtration equipment on their water systems.
If residents are suspicious of any sales people coming to their door, they are encouraged to call Guelph Police Services for assistance at 911 or 519-824-1212 extension 0.
Those wishing to report a visit can call Water Services at 519-837-5627.
This has actually been a discussion point on Guelph's Reddit page for the last week. One poster identified the scammers as belonging to one company in particular, which was then confirmed by another poster.
"A guy just showed this morning asking to see my water pipes and wearing (and showing me) a half deleted credential around the neck. He asked directly if he needed to remove his shoes to come inside. I said no way Jose. He was from www.greenlifewater.com (he gave me some flyer) I felt a bit stressed because he was a bit rude. I was thinking on writing to the company complaining... I live in Eastview area."
Of course, that's not to say that Green Life Water is a shady company, someone may be posing as employees of a legitimate company to pass muster. But if you're suspicious at all, this poster (who, granted, lives in K-W) offers a good example of how to proceed:
Hey there, I had the same people come to my door saying that they represent Kitchener Utilities (I'm in K-W). He gave me his spiel followed by "should I take my shoes off or leave them on." That's an old direct marketing (learned from when I sold security systems).
Asked to see ID and he refused, asked to see any documentation and he refused. I said "I'm not letting you in my house" and he left, noting something down on his clipboard.
Immediately afterward I called Kitchener Utilities and they confirmed it's a scam.
So be careful who you open your door to. Unless it's one of Guelph's many election candidates, in which case you should welcome them in and have a hearty discussion about the issues.