Hinton RCMP has been receiving an increased number of complaints regarding asphalt-paving company scams in the area. The public have been reporting that out-of-town companies, claiming to be pavers, are offering their services at an inexpensive rate.
Residents are paying for the service up-front and then receiving a sub-standard job. These companies, who will sometimes also offer roof sealing services, will then disappear from the area before people realise they have been scammed.
These individuals have been known to provide few details of their identity and utilize non-descript vehicles rarely bearing commercial logos.
Hinton 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. 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. We would like to remind residents to exercise caution when retaining contractor services and, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
Residents should be weary of any contractors who:
- Come to your door saying they are working in the area and 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 are a few tips to avoid falling prey to scammers:
- Before agreeing to a contract with 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, with the Consumer Investigations Unit, with your local Rural Crime Watch or on social media sites.
- 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 license numbers, if applicable.
- Ensure the quote you receive gives details such as the quantity and the quality of materials being offered.
- Obtain quotes from local suppliers as a form of comparison.
If you, or anyone you know, has fallen victim to this scam, contact the Hinton RCMP Detachment at 780-865-5544, or your local police. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.
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