June 15, 2024

Road closure
CityNews file photo

With the advent of spring, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is issuing a caution against construction and paving scams.

OPP have compiled some recommendations on how to identify these deceitful individuals, who can be very convincing, intrusive, and forceful. They often specifically target susceptible individuals for payment, including the elderly.

“When evaluating these contractors, they often do not have an official online presence, nor are they registered with local business associations, the Better Business Bureau, or other reputable entities,” according to an issued news statement.

Residents are warned to be suspicious if they are approached directly at their residences or through phone calls — particularly if the service was not solicited or appears unnecessary.

Moreover, flashy brochures should not mislead you:

“Scammers make use of professionally crafted pamphlets and websites to give the impression of authenticity.”

In addition to this, it is advisable to request a written agreement and a pre-service quote and to be sceptical of contractors who claim to have surplus materials from a previous project.

According to the OPP, it is a severe warning sign when a business demands payment before the completion of a project, and if a deal appears too good to be true, it likely is.