Vernon North Okanagan RCMP are asking residents planning home renovations to use due diligence when seeking a contractor, as two area residents have been scammed out of more than $16,000 after finding a contractor through a Facebook ad. (File photo)

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP are asking residents planning home renovations to use due diligence when seeking a contractor, as two area residents have been scammed out of more than $16,000 after finding a contractor through a Facebook ad. (File photo)

RCMP warn of Okanagan contractor fraud

Two Vernon area residents scammed out of thousands after hiring company through social media ad

The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP is investigating after two area residents were scammed out of more than $16,000 by an Okanagan-based landscaping company.

In both investigations, the victims found the company through an advertisement on Facebook. After hiring the company, the victims transferred large deposits for work and materials. The contractor has not been heard from since.

“Unfortunately, both victims ended up paying thousands of dollars up front in deposits for work that was not completed or even started,” said Const. Chris Terleski, media relations officer.

The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP wants to remind residents of the importance of being diligent and double checking before hiring a contractor for home renovations or projects:

• Be suspicious of someone asking for cash only or full payment up front;

• Always ask for references;

• Ask to see a business license;

• Get several written quotes;

• Seek out someone you trust who has knowledge about the work and discuss it with them.

“Home renovation and improvement projects can often involve large sums of money and there are reputable companies and people in the business,” said Terleski. “You need to take your time and go through the right steps to find them.”

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roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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