OPP issue warning after months-long phone scam impersonating Odessa-based business

Photo by Logan Cadue.

For the past three months, multiple residents in Lennox and Addington (L&A) County have received phone calls purporting to be from the secretary of an Odessa-based business of which the business has no knowledge or involvement, according to police.

On Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, the L&A County Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) issued a press release regarding an “impersonation scam,” warning the public of a “recent increase in fraudulent phone calls attempting to impersonate the secretary of a local business.”

“With this scam, the victim receives a phone call from someone claiming to be the secretary of Glenn Lasher Home Comfort Service. The female caller then pressures clients into scheduling equipment maintenance appointments at their respective houses,” the OPP said.

However, according to the Facebook page of the company in question, reports of such incidents have been occurring since late April.

“SCAM ALERT….Please be advised that we have been contacted by many of our customers recently, there has been a [woman] by the name of (Kim) calling from (Home Comfort Heating and Cooling) THIS IS A SCAM,” Glenn Lasher Home Comfort Service wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday, Apr. 26, 2022. “She is requesting access to your home to inspect your furnace and your Central Air for the season. WE DO NOT MAKE THESE SORT OF MARKETING CALLS.”

The post goes on to advise customers to call the company if they receive such a call, and that the OPP had been made aware of the incidents.

The company also posted about further such incidents at the end of July, where at least four individuals commented that they’d received the spoof calls, as well, and one person commented they’d received two calls claiming to be from Glenn Lasher Home Comfort Service, both of which came from different Brampton-based phone numbers.

According to the OPP, “no financial details have been requested and no individuals have attended for the slated time slots,” at this time. Seeking further clarity on that statement, Kingstonist inquired as to if the female caller actually makes appointments with those called, and if those appointments are to take place at the residence of those called.

Provincial Constable Hannah King of the L&A County OPP confirmed that the calls purporting to be from the secretary at Glenn Lasher Home Comfort Service that the OPP has been made aware of began in April 2022.

“It is believed that a female individual, impersonating the secretary of Glenn Lasher Home Comfort Service, has been attempting to book equipment maintenance appointments, however, we have not been made aware of any occurrences where individuals attended any residence to provide those services,” said King.

“At this point in time, we are unsure of the exact number of calls of this nature that have been made. That is why the OPP are appealing to any other parties who may have experienced any similar instances as it may provide additional details for our investigation.”

The L&A County OPP said they are warning the public to “be aware of these fraudulent phone calls and to report any concerning interaction to police at 1-888-310-1122.”

Furthermore, the OPP would like to remind the public to “always be suspicious of phone calls that request money, and to never offer personal information or money over the phone.”

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