MONTREAL -- A Sherbrooke organization dedicated to defending consumers is warning the public against a possible fraud scam underway in the Eastern Townships that is pressuring people to sign commitments for services.

The Estrie Family Economic Co-operative Association (ACEF) said the scam was reported to them last week in Saint-Denis de Brompton, Coaticook and Asbestos, but that there were probably more cases elsewhere in the region.

ACEF said that door-to-door canvassers are asking people questions about their heating costs and are very insistent on making an appointment. They claim to represent electricity supplier Hydro-Sherbrooke or to be an agent of the Réno-Climat program – which is untrue.

ACEF believes that these are most likely companies selling heat pumps or attic decontamination and insulation services.

"Take the time to assess your needs and your budget and compare prices," said ACEF coordinator Sylvie Bonin, who said local merchants usually charge prices that are 40 to 50 per cent cheaper and have better after-sales service.

In addition, ACEF said carrying out the work quickly bars clients from receiving government grants from the Réno-climat and Chauffez vert programs, requiring them to be registered to the program before work begins

ACEF said that a client can easily cancel a travelling sales contract within 10 days, and that applies even if the installation or the works are already carried out.