Beware door-to-door driveway scammers this winter, warns police

Canadian winters are notorious for wreaking havoc on driveways, leading homeowners to consider repairs or replacements. However, the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) urges caution due to an increase in door-to-door driveway scammers who exploit this need.

These scammers employ deceptive tactics, including overpromising, underquoting, and failing to deliver on commitments. They typically offer paving or resurfacing services at seemingly competitive prices, pressuring homeowners for immediate and substantial cash down payments.

While initial work may begin quickly, the quality is often poor, and the job remains unfinished. Scammers then pressure for additional payments, ultimately disappearing with the money, leaving homeowners with damaged or incomplete driveways.

Victims report aggressive and pushy tactics, with an emphasis on securing the initial cash deposit. These scammers often lack an online presence, official registration, or verifiable contact information, further raising red flags.

NRPS urges homeowners to take proactive steps before hiring anyone. Seek recommendations from trusted sources and always verify the contractor’s insurance before work begins. Don’t be swayed by “too good to be true” offers and compare prices by getting multiple written estimates. Check references carefully to verify past work, and avoid cash deals. Be wary of unsolicited offers at your door, and fully understand the scope of the work to avoid being held responsible for any city property damage caused by scammers.

Finally, document everything with photos taken before, during, and after the work, including pictures of contractor vehicles and license plates if anything seems suspicious. Being informed and cautious is your best defense against driveway scammers.

For further information or to report potential scams, contact Consumer Protection Ontario or Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

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