Edmonton police warn of door-to-door scams, seek fraud suspect
Published Friday, February 8, 2013 10:23AM MST
Last Updated Friday, February 8, 2013 6:33PM MST
Police are searching for a fraud suspect after receiving a number of complaints of a man trying to sell televisions to residents in north and west Edmonton neighbourhoods.
It is reported that a man has been approaching homeowners, saying he has new 53” Sony TVs for sale at a discounted price of $200 to $300.
The man says he is selling the TVs to help a friend’s electronics store that is going out of business.
After receiving money, the man allegedly leaves to get the TV but doesn’t come back.
"He falls off the face of the Earth essentially," said Cst. Tyler Watt.
"Since January we've had several complanits, upwards of 10-15 complainants out anywhere from $200-$300. His activity seems to be escalating."
Dominic Berardi, 44, is wanted on warrants for fraud and breach of recognizance.
Beradi is described as:
- 185 cm (6’1”)
- 90 kg (200 lbs)
- Brown eyes
- Black and grey shoulder-length hair
- Scruffy beard
Bernice Plaizier says she lost money after Berardi came to her door.
"He said, 'I have a great deal, I have some TVs for sale," Plaizier tells CTV News.
"I gave him 80 bucks."
Police believe Berardi has been doing the scam for several years.
"It would be fair to say he is a repeat offender and has been doing this for quite some time. It's kind of hot and cold and since the new year it's been very active," Watt said.
"He's very good at what he does, he's very personable."
So personable he was able to trick Plaizier, who says now, she's wary when strangers knock on her door.
Meanwhile police are asking anyone who may have been a victim to come forward.
"We encourage the public not to be embarassed. It could happen to anyone. We do encourage them to come forward."
Police ask anyone with information on Berardi contact 780-423-4567, #377 from a mobile phone, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Officers are also asking the public to be aware of door-to-door fraud scams and remind residents if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
With files from Jeff Harrington