Sunday, March 12, 2006

Stuff: Handyman Scam

Yesterday, a fellow came by offering to clean our gutters, cash up front. This isn't that unusual around here - with so many men's missions and shelters around, we often get guys offering to shovel the walk, weed the garden, or whatever.

This guy was more business-like than the casual odd job men we usually get, though -- he was warning us of a hole in our roof he'd apparently seen while working on a neighbouring house, and offered to take care of it and our gutters. Did up a nice receipt an everything.

Unfortunately, he never showed to do the work, and the number on the receipt is a fake -- a private cell phone belonging to someone who's getting tired of calls asking about this guy. So, if you live in downtown Toronto, watch out for his scam.

I'm horrible at remembering people's appearances, but here's what I can manage:

The guy is roughly 5'6 - 5'8 (160-170 cm), Hispanic, with a thin sideburn-moustache-beard combo and hair shaved very short. He gave his name as "Troy", and mentioned the name "Antony" as well. His speech was rather hyper, jumping from topic to topic. He talked a good game, but on reflection I realized he was cold-reading me -- I'd mention something and he'd work it into his schpiel as if he'd been about to mention it himself. His sympathy-schtick also involved a new 3-week-old son after many miscarriages brought about by his wife's lupus.

I won't post the phone number he gave on his receipt, but it started 416-346-7***. Read more!