Seniors targeted in door-to-door appliance scam in Oshawa – Ottawa, Quebec men charged

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Published June 28, 2024 at 3:07 pm

Two men have been arrested on fraud charges as part of a door-to-door scam investigation in Oshawa.

Durham Police responded to a fraud-in-progress call Wednesday morning at a residence near Grandview St. S and Wesley Drive in the city’s southeast corner.

The two suspects, who were representing themselves as employees of Consumers Assistance – a company police called “fraudulent” – offered debt consolidation services on outstanding money owed for energy related appliances.

The victim had previously purchased several energy related systems, such as a heat pump, air purifying system, tankless water heater, etc., from a door-to-door sales person claiming they would receive green rebates from the government in return.

The homeowner had spent more than $50,000 upgrading these appliances and never received any rebates.

The suspects told the victim in the scam they would pay off the outstanding debt for an additional $11,000 and would return later that evening with the paperwork.  When the suspects returned police were ready and took both suspects into custody without incident.

Ottawa’s Isaak Estefan Garcia, 20, and Mustafa Zeidan, 26, from Quebec, are both charged with fraud over $5,000.

Garcia was released on a promise to appear. Zeidan was held for a bail hearing.

Police say those involved in this type of fraud have been attempting to ‘strong-arm’ homeowners – often older adults with cognitive difficulties – into paying unreasonable, and at times illegal contracts more frequently as recent changes in legislation will make it harder to perpetuate these crimes.

In some incidents homeowners have lost their homes because of liens placed on the residence.

Police believe there may be other victims.

Anyone who has been victimized or that has any information about this or similar incidents is asked to contact D/Cst. Reeves of the Major Fraud Unit at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5241.

Anonymous information can be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca and tipsters may be eligible for a $2,000 cash reward.

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