Saturday, July 20, 2024

Belleville police looking for suspect in attempted fraud against elderly man

Belleville police released these photos of the suspect and the car he drove.

The Belleville Police Service is investigating a suspected fraud scheme targeting seniors in the area.

Police say that on Feb. 22, an 87-year-old resident of Belleville scheduled an appointment with what he believed to be a government-subsidized company offering home efficiency rebates. However, the encounter took a disturbing turn when a male individual, purporting to represent the company, arrived at the victim’s residence in the city’s north end, and “walked past the victim into the household uninvited,” according to the media release from Belleville police.

Police say the suspect employed “aggressive sales tactics,” and refused to leave the premises on. Fortunately, the victim’s daughter arrived in time to prevent any contractual agreements from being signed. It’s suspected that the perpetrator aimed to coerce the elderly male into a significant financial commitment, ostensibly for the installation of a hot water tank with promises of government rebates.

The suspect, who police believe drove a silver KIA bearing an out-of-province license plate, refused to identify himself or his affiliation with any company.

“It is believed the suspect is involved in a larger fraud scheme focused on targeting and confusing senior citizens via online advertisements, attending their homes and then locking them into large loans with high interest rates,” police state.

The work promised then either doesn’t get completed or is installed incorrectly, and “the company” refuses to return to remedy the issue.

Police warn the public to remain vigilant against such scams, which often involve pressure tactics to exploit vulnerable individuals. Photos of the suspect and the vehicle in question have been released to aid in the investigation.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Cst. Joy #192 at 613-966-0882 X4192 or via email at djoy@bellevilleps.ca.

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