FortisBC is warning its customers to be on the lookout for imposters claiming to be doing furnace inspections on behalf of the company.

The salespeople are making the rounds in Metro Vancouver and look professional, wearing IDs and jackets with crests.

Deb Goddard of Delta was targeted.

“I answered the door to two men who said they were in the neighbourhood to do furnace inspections as per FortisBC," she said.

“They said, ‘OK, can we come in?’ and I said, ‘No.’"

Skip Whitehurst lives on the same street as Goddard and welcomed them in. The men convinced him they'd come to inspect his furnace.

"They had an official type badge,” he said, “And they took a picture with their camera phone and then suggested that they could come and repair it tomorrow if that was acceptable.”

Whitehurst declined their offer and hustled them out the door. Goddard called police.

“They're claiming to be from FortisBC and this is a concern to us. We wouldn't show up at customers' homes unannounced. It would often be by appointment," said company spokesperson Diana Sorace.

“The police reported to me later on that they were not FortisBC employees but that they were from a furnace company drumming up business in the area," said Goddard.

FortisBC has seen this before and has put out an alert.

So what can you do to protect yourself?

  • Be cautious of anyone who shows up unannounced claiming to be offering appliance inspections.
  • Always ask for photo identification and get the name of the person and the business.
  • If the salesperson asks to see your gas or electricity bill, decline. Your bill contains personal information and should not be shared with anyone.
  • If you ask the salesperson to leave, they must leave right away. If you feel unsafe, call the police.
  • In the event that you are asked to sign an agreement or any paperwork, ensure you read the fine print and understand what you are signing.