The RCMP is warning property owners of ongoing paving scams and fraudulent contractor services.
Recent incidents have involved illegitimate, out-of-town companies offering discounted asphalt-paving services to residents in small, rural areas. The contractors will claim to have leftover materials from previous jobs and offer to pave driveways and parking lots at reduced pricing.
These companies may use business names that suggest they are affiliated with a government road maintenance department and typically provide false addresses or contact information. After collecting their payment, the contractors will disappear from the area, leaving customers to discover the materials used are poor quality and the work is unprofessional. Victims are left unable to contact the scammers and face expensive asphalt repairs.
Police are asking residents to exercise caution when retaining contractor services by asking for the names of previous customers and verify that they were satisfied with the work, researching the company through the Better Business Bureau in Alberta, the Consumer Investigations Unit, your local Rural Crime Watch, or on social media, obtaining a written quote that includes the full business name, address, phone number, GST number, as well as provincial and municipal license numbers, if applicable, and seeking estimates from reputable companies to compare costs.
Quotes should specify the quantity and quality of materials being offered. Be skeptical if contractors decline to provide this information. Do not agree to a contract if you feel pressured or if the contractor refuses to take “no” for an answer and always be leery of unsolicited offers. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The RCMP is working together with the Alberta Consumer Investigation Unit (CIU) to counter this trend. For more information, see Service Alberta’s Dealing with Door-to-Door Sales tip sheet. If you, or anyone you know, suspect a paving-contractor scam, please report it at 1-877-427-4088 (toll-free).