Hamilton

Door-to-door salesmen scam senior out of $210K

A Hamilton man and a Brantford man are facing numerous charges after allegedly bilking a Burlington senior out of more than $210,000 over five years.

Police say the men worked for businesses like 'Pure Air Clean' and 'Worldwide Industries'

Two men are facing charges after allegedly bilking a Burlington senior out of over $210,000. (Ken Tannenbaum/Shuttershock)

A Hamilton man and a Brantford man are facing numerous charges after allegedly bilking a Burlington senior out of more than $210,000 over five years.

Halton police say the two men subjected an 80-year-old woman to "prolonged financial abuse" starting in 2011 and running until 2016.

In a news release, Halton police described how the two men worked as "high-pressure door-to-door salesmen," who specialized in installing water and air filtration systems.

The two men allegedly provided services for the victim, and then got access to her banking, credit card and financial information — to the tune of over $210,000, police say.

"Her husband passed away in 2007, and he handled most of the finances," said Det. Const. Nadine Clarke of Halton police.

In October of last year, the woman's nephew saw her bank statements, and immediately knew something was wrong, Clarke said. That's when he contacted police. 

Now, her nephew is dealing with calls from collection's agencies for his elderly aunt. 

"She has a good support now, but it's definitely a hit," Clarke said.

Police say the men were associated with a number of different businesses, such as:

  • Pure Air Clean
  • Worldwide Industries
  • Eagle Water
  • Indoor Air Care Products
  • Universal Water Technologies

Clarke said police know the two men were involved in similar scams in Halton, and they believe there could be victims in other regions as well.

Derek Calvin, a 38-year-old Hamilton man, was charged with three counts of theft over $5,000, and two counts of theft under $5,000.

Edgordo Castro, a 41-year-old Branford man, was charged with fraud over $5,000, and unauthorized use of credit card data.

Both men are scheduled to appear in court next month in Milton.

"Citizens are reminded to be vigilant when engaging with any high-pressure door-to-door salespeople," Halton police said in a news release. "Police are reminding the public to protect their financial data and identity information, especially when entering into contracts for products and services.

"Citizens should ask questions, review and receive a written contract for products and services, control access to their financial information and only deal with contractors they have sought out to complete work in their home."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Adam Carter

Reporter

Adam Carter is a Newfoundlander who now calls Toronto home. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamCarterCBC or drop him an email at adam.carter@cbc.ca.

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