Home improvement scams increase in 2022: BBB report

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Home improvement scams carried the highest risk to Canadians in 2022, according to a new report from the Better Business Bureau.

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The BBB Scam Tracker data shows home improvement scams increased 51.2 per cent last year, to 6.2 per cent of consumer reports from 4.1 per cent in 2021.

People lost an average of $1,900 to this type of scam, up from $661 in 2021.

The percentage of Canadians who reported losing money after being targeted by a scam increased to 46.9 per cent in 2022, from 45.1 per cent the previous year.

“Home improvement scams rose from the fourth riskiest scam type reported by Canadians in 2021 to number one in 2022,” said Jennifer Matthews, chief executive of the London-based Western Ontario BBB.

“This type of scam is often perpetrated by door-to-door solicitors who offer quick, low-cost repairs,” Matthews said. “They take payments and never return to do the work.

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“In some variations, they do shoddy work, don’t finish the job or dramatically increase the price after the original agreement. Our report includes tips on how to avoid this type of scam, as well as many other scams.”

Cryptocurrency scams came as the second most riskiest, with advance fee loan scams dropping to third place.

Employment scams rose to number five, up from number seven in 2021.

Canadians aged 35-44 reported the highest median dollar loss ($500) and the biggest increase in median dollar loss, up from $250 in 2021.

People 25 to 34 were the only age group that did not report an increase in median dollar loss in 2022.

The median dollar loss reported by both men and women increased in 2022. The median dollar loss reported by men ($453) was substantially higher than by women ($249) in 2022.

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