FSI Landscape Supply (www.fsilandscapesupply.com), a leading provider of high-quality landscaping materials for both residential and commercial landscaping in the GTA, is commenting on a renovation scam targeting seniors, specifically of Italian heritage.
The most recent case was reported on CTV news on July 8th. A man named Matteo De-Paola was charged with one count of fraud over $5,000 when it was discovered that an elderly woman had given him $25,000 over three years for landscaping work that was never done.
(Source: Balca, D., “Man accused of renovation fraud targeting Italian seniors,” July 8, 2015. http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/man-accused-of-renovation-fraud-targeting-italian-seniors-1.2459391)
“Seniors have put so much into their homes already over the years,” says Ross Dirrocolo, Founder of FSI Landscape Supply. “Their house is a reflection of who they are and often where they’ve chosen to raise their family, so there’s also some sentimental value that goes along with the actual physical structure of the home”.
During the summer, seniors often commit to landscaping projects, doing what they can themselves but relying largely on the services of contractors. Unfortunately, some of these contractors take advantage of seniors. They know how much seniors are willing to spend on home renovations and use that knowledge to commit acts of fraud.
“The worst part about this is the fact that this is not an isolated incident,” Dirrocolo continues. “In this specific case, the materials weren’t even purchased despite the large amounts of money taken from a 77-year-old woman. It’s actually despicable that someone would try to defraud a senior female living on her own, using language barriers as a way to further confuse the situation.”
Dirrocolo advises seniors who are hiring contractors for summer landscaping work or any home renovation project to do their research. Even if they aren’t familiar with how to use the internet, they should ask their family or a neighbor for help.
“Tell them about you plans and have them check into the landscaping company you’re using. You could even have them meet the contractor,” Dirrocolo says. “It’s important that, as a community, we look after our seniors who are usually the first targets of fraudulent activities.”
FSI Landscape Supply works with many upstanding contractors who are fair and do their jobs well. To learn more about where to get the best landscape supplies in the GTA, visit the FSI website. Their landscape supply warehouse is located in Brampton and serves all of Toronto and the surrounding cities.