Toronto

Oshawa police constable offers helping hand to scam victim

An Oshawa woman says a bad moving experience was made slightly better recently, thanks to the generosity of a Durham Regional Police officer.

'If I can help out, just a little bit would go a long way,' Const. Allan Campbell said

Sadaf Ahmad says she was shocked when the movers she hired threatened to lock up her belongings if she didn't pay more money than what was agreed upon. (Greg Ross/CBC)

An Oshawa woman says a bad moving experience was made slightly better recently, thanks to the generosity of a Durham Regional Police officer.

Sadaf Ahmad hired a company she found on Kijiji to move her family's belongings from Brampton to Oshawa Sunday night.

She said she had a verbal commitment with the company of a $50 flat fee plus another $50 per hour. But when the movers showed up, they demanded Ahmad sign a contract and put down a $300 deposit.

And it only got worse from there.

Sadaf Ahmad says she wasn't expecting Const. Allan Campbell to jump to her family's aid when they fell victim to a moving scam. (Greg Ross/CBC)

After loading all of Ahmad's furniture into the truck, the movers returned with a bill of $1,379. 

"I was shocked," she told CBC Toronto. "They said, 'We can't move,' with all my things in their truck locked away until full payment was received. My whole family went into panic mode."

Ahmad said she gave in, worried her belongings wouldn't make it to her new home safely. But when the truck pulled up, the movers asked for another $40. She refused, and they started piling her furniture in the driveway.

That's when she called Durham Regional Police.

Const. Allan Campbell says he spoke to the movers briefly, but based on the information he was given, there was little he could do in a professional capacity — at that point, it was a civil matter, not criminal.

When Ahmad refused to pay the movers more money, she says they started piling her furniture in the driveway. (Sadaf Ahma/Submitted)

'There is still some good out there'

Still, the police officer wanted to help.

"I saw that the family was completely unhappy and tired, and figured if I can help out, just a little bit would go a long way," Campbell said. "I had a few minutes to spare."

So Campbell helped moved the furniture the movers had dumped in the driveway into the house.

Ahmad says she wasn't expecting the help at all.

"You just came out of your way, you didn't have to help us," Ahmad told Campbell Tuesday night.

"It was difficult until he came, and then we just kind of felt, 'Okay, there is still some good out there.'"

Durham Regional Police Const. Allan Campbell stepped in after the movers left the family's furniture in the driveway. (Greg Ross/CBC)

Ahmad says Campbell also gave her family tips about how to avoid falling victim to scams in the future. She says she's certainly learned her lesson about hiring movers.

"These people go by many names or companies, so don't use Kijiji as your primary search," she said. "Use referrals from family and friends."

With files from Greg Ross