VICTORIA -- Nanaimo RCMP are warning Vancouver Island residents of door-knocking scammers who are offering cheap labour, home repairs and other services.

Mounties say that over the past week many reports of people going door-to-door offering to sell and install water heaters and purification systems have been filed. Since March 1, police say that four incidents have been reported and that in all of the cases none of the scammers had a business licence.

At most, police say that some of the scammers were able to produce a "homemade" business card of a company that did not exist.

Mounties say that individuals who practiae these kinds of scams tend to target areas with many senior residents. So far, the University Heights area of Nanaimo has been frequented by scammers. 

"This is not an uncommon occurrence and when law enforcement gets involved, the individuals often move onto other jurisdictions," said Const. Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

O'Brien is now warning all residents of Vancouver Island of this type of scam, as the people involved may move to other island communities if they feel that they have drawn the attention of local police. 

Mounties add that most door-to-door scammers employ a pushy or aggressive scamming method and insist that an appliance is broken. The scammers then usually ask for a down deposit and a promise to return to fix the appliance, but the work is never completed.

Nanaimo RCMP recommend that if anyone knocks on your door offering to sell or repair an appliance, you should ask to a see business licence. Additionally, police recommend that people ask the sellers for a reference and contact neighbours, friends or family members before committing to any kind of service. 

Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by a door-knocking scammer is asked to contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

The warning comes as RCMP unroll their "Fraud Awareness Month" campaign across the province. Last week, Oak Bay police issued a similar fraud warning after a senior resident of the municipality was swindled out of $10,000