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RCMP warns property owners of paving contractor scams

The RCMP has received reports this summer of several incidents involving paving scams in western Alberta.
Travelling companies, posing as legitimate contractors, offer paving or sometimes roof sealing services typically to senior citizens in rural communities.
These individuals have been known to provide few details of their identity and utilize non-descript vehicles rarely bearing commercial logos.
The RCMP urges property owners to beware of out-of-town companies offering such services.
“The contractors claim to have leftover asphalt from previous jobs and promise to provide quality services,” RCMP media relations officer Cpl. Ronal Bumbry said in a news release.
“However, the product used is believed to be cold, recycled asphalt or a gravel and oil mixture with no lasting properties. This results in the asphalt falling apart once it is driven on. By that time, these fraudsters are long gone, disappearing with their payment before the customer realizes they have been scammed.”
People should be wary of any contractors who:
• Come to the door saying they are working in the area offering a deal for leftover asphalt.
• Drive vehicles bearing no business names or logos.
• Pressure you into making a quick decision or refuse to take “no” for an answer.
• Ask for a down payment to buy materials.
• Refuse to give you a written quote with their business name, physical address and outlining the services they will provide prior to completing the work.
Here a few tips to avoid falling prey to scammers:
• Before agreeing to contract a person who comes to your door, get names of their previous customers and verify that they were satisfied with the work.
• Do some research on the company with either the Better Business Bureau in Alberta or with the Consumer Investigations Unit.
• Make sure to obtain a written quote from the contractor that includes the full business name, full address, phone number, GST number and provincial and municipal licence numbers, if applicable.
• Ensure the quote you receive gives details such as the quantity and specifies the quality of materials being offered.
• Obtain quotes from local suppliers as a form of comparison.
If you or anyone you know have any information on these companies, contact the Consumer Investigations Unit at 403-803-8229.

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