Guelph police have issued a warning, saying they’ve noticed an increase in door-to-door scams. According to police, homeowners are reporting salespeople are trying to sell household appliances, contracts and services – and in some cases, the scammers end up taking out a mortgage on the resident’s home.

On Monday, police said similar scams are happening in other jurisdictions in Ontario, and typically, residents are pressured to purchase products or sign up for services.

“These products are sold at exorbitant prices, such as $30,000 for an air filter,” Guelph police said in a news release. “Additionally, these individuals often re-visit the same residence multiple times, selling different items to the same victim. For each product or service sold, the fraudsters have the victim sign some paperwork the victim doesn’t fully understand, which the fraudsters then use to register a lien against the victim’s property.”

According to police, a typical door scam will involve a salesperson trying to sell a product or service to the resident. Once the resident has signed the paperwork, a property lien is opened without their knowledge.

“This causes the victim to become indebted and after some time when they see the costs involved with what they signed up for, the victim realizes their mistake,” police said.

Officials said in some instances, the residents are contacted again at a later date by someone claiming to be from a law firm who offers their help.

If the resident agrees to the help from the law firm, they are sent further documents that need to be signed, at which point the fraudsters then open a mortgage on the resident’s home.

“The fraudsters further the ruse by paying off the previous debt they caused the homeowner/victim from the products or services they previously sold the victim, essentially paying themselves with the homeowner’s new second mortgage. This causes the victim to be in even further debt,” police said.

The Guelph Police Service is reminding residents that on March 1, 2018, Ontario banned unsolicited, door-to-door sales of certain household appliances

Police added that on January 1, 2017, Ontario banned energy retailers from signing up customers for an energy contract while at their homes.

Police are offering the following tips for residents to help protect themselves:

  • Ask for photo ID and get the name of the person and company you are dealing with.
  • Consider installing a camera at your front door to have video of any fraudulent transactions.
  • Request documentation on all transactions or contracts and take time to educate yourself on the options available to you. Don’t feel pressured to make a decision on the spot.
  • Research before you sign anything, agree to anything, or invest your money. Don’t sign anything without getting your own legal advice, and always read the fine print.
  • Never share personal information or copies of any bills, financial statements, or other private information.
  • Don’t let anyone enter your home unless you have invited them and/or you have taken steps to verify who they are. If you are unsure, seek assistance from a family member or friend.
  • For contracts signed at your home, you have a cooling-off period. Consumers in Ontario have the right to cancel a contract for any reason within a 10-day cooling-off period. For water heater contracts, there is a 20-day cooling-off period.

If you believe you or a family member may be a victim of fraud, contact your local police service (the Guelph Police Non-Emergency line is 519-824-5154) and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or report online at You can also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or report the incident online at