EDMONTON — Edmonton police believe they have stifled a scam that was impacting the reputation of a local plumber.
“It’s been unebelievably frustrating,” Frank Stamatakis, the owner of the company said.
For two months, scammers have been cold calling Edmontonians aggressively selling duct cleaning services and pretending to be Dollarwise Plumbing, even using an app to make it appear the call is coming from the legitimate company.
The scam has resulted in Stamatakis receiving angry and confused calls.
“I was receiving thousands and thousands of call. I just was relentless.”
Jason Leavell owns Fix it Right, a competing plumbing company. When he got a call from the scammers, he knew it wasn’t legitimate, so he booked an appointment.
“We didn’t expect them to actually show up,” he said.
To his surprise, two men did show up. He confronted them and got photos of them, their van and their Ontario licence plate.
“I confronted them, told them they’re nothing but a scam, and that they’re stealing business.”
Police used the licence plate information to track down the Ontario company that owns the van, and the two men in the photos.
“They did have, in their possession, numerous receipts,” said Det. Jason Lapointe of the Edmonton Police Service Economic Crimes Section. “Basically from Ontario all the way to Edmonton and area.”
It all led back to Kalair Home Services in Toronto.
The company’s owner claims the calls were made by a marketing company he hired out of India.
“They did not have an active business licence in and around Edmonton,” Lapointe said.
The owner of Kalair says his Alberta operation is shut down, and he’s no longer using that marketing company, so the fake calls should stop, thanks, in part Stamatakis’ competition.
If he was here, I’d love to be able to put a lot of hand cleaner, shake his hand and give him a big Greek hug!” Stamatakis said.
Police say no charges are expected.
With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Bill Fortier.
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