In recent incidents, the RCMP says that illegitimate companies are claiming to be from out-of-town and offer a discounted asphalt-paving service while providing a potential victim false contact information and addresses to their business.
The companies will claim to have leftover materials from a previous job and offer to pave driveways at a reduced price.
Once the company collects a payment, they will disappear from an area, and many people will find that materials used are of poor quality and unprofessional workmanship, leaving victims with costly asphalt repairs and no way to contact their contractor.
The RCMP warns that companies may use names that appear to be affiliated with a government road maintenance department.
The Alberta RCMP are asking residents to use caution when receiving contractor services, especially to be cautious of unsolicited offers.
They offer the following tips to avoid becoming a victim of a paving scam: Research the company through the Better Business Bureau in Alberta, the Consumer Investigations Unit, your local Rural Crime Watch, or on social media.
- Do not agree to contracts if you feel pressured or if a contractor will not take “no” for an answer.
- Property owners can also “obtain a written quote that includes the full business name, address, phone number, GST number, as well as provincial and municipal license numbers, if applicable,” said the Alberta RCMP.
- Quotes should specify the quantity and quality of the materials being used, and consumers should be skeptical if this information is not provided.
Property owners can also seek quotes from other companies and compare the quotes for any discrepancies.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” says the Alberta RCMP.
If you, or anyone you know, suspect a paving-contractor scam, please report it at 1-877-427-4088
By Jesse Boily