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Aug. 7, 2020 | Friday
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Police seek man suspected in door-to-door sales scam
Niagara Regional Police are looking for Jerry Connors in connection with a door-to-door sales scam. (Supplied)

Niagara Regional Police are looking for a 46-year-old man suspected of involvement in a door-to-door sales scam happening across the region, including Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Jerry Connors is wanted for offences involving fraud over $5,000 and for failing to appear in court. He may be driving a 2010 White Rodge Ram pickup truck. Detectives say his whereabouts are unknown and residents are warned to avoid confronting him.

Connors speaks with a British or Irish accent and is believed to be part of a large group conducting door-to-door scams, police said.

Police launched an investigation after several Niagara residents complained about contractors who didn't complete work at their homes.

Old Town resident Rob Lamond said one of the contractors first approached him during Thanksgiving weekend. The man suggested tearing up the driveway, paving stones, getting rid of grass and levelling it out.

"The truck didn't have any business signs," Lamond said. "He didn't have any business cards."

When asked the name of his company, the man said, "Don't know. Just call me Billy."

The next day, the same man rang the doorbell asking if Lamond had made the decision.

The third time another man with an Irish accent came to Lamond's house. The first man, who introduced himself as Billy, was also waiting in the red truck, Lamond said.

Police say the contractors go door-to-door selling driveway paving and/or resurfacing services, and they may often carry business cards and pamphlets. However, their companies don’t have an official online presence or any registration with local chambers of commerce, Better Business Bureau or others, according to police.

After customers pay a large cash deposit, some work may be done but it’s “sub-par” and “incomplete.”

“Once final payment is received the 'contractor' is usually never heard from again. Phone calls will go unanswered thus leaving the consumer with driveway damage or a partially completed project,” police said in a statement.

According to resident reports, contractors can be very aggressive and pushy.

Police advise residents to hire trusted and insured contractors, to avoid cash deals and check references of past jobs. Consumers are also advised to acquire a written guarantee, receipt and warranty information, and only to pay the full amount upon satisfactory completion of work.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Niagara police at (905) 688-4111 dial option 3, Badge #9004.