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Elgin County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is reminding the public that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The OPP has been receiving an increase in reports of unfinished paving projects or extremely poor quality paving jobs from door to door salespeople wanting to make a quick profit at the homeowner's expense. This familiar scam puts victims out thousands of dollars, most of which can be prevented by doing a bit of research before committing to the scam artists.

With the warmer weather, scammers often go door-to-door offering numerous services such a paving, and roofing. They will use high-pressure tactics making it sound as if you will lose out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, or that you have to act right away. If someone comes to your door, ask to see some identification. If you are interested in what this person has to offer, take time to find out about their business and their offer. If they are a legitimate company, they will wait and often encourage you to do your research. Do some online research to see what others have to say about this company. If you are not tech savvy, have a trusted friend help you look the company up online.

To Prevent Frauds:

  • Always get at least three quotes on any project around the house, regardless of the service or product being sold.
  • Never sign a contract without checking the credibility of the company or person selling the product or service. Get references from other customers to ensure quality of work.
  • Those with little business experience should never sign a contract without running it by a trusted family member, friend or neighbour.
  • Never fully open or unlock your door to anyone you don't know. Talk through a locked or secured door if you don't know their identity. If you don't want them at your door, tell them to "go away". If they don't, call the police.
  • Report suspicious persons or activity to police immediately.
  • There is no magic to preventing fraud. If something sounds too good to be true, or if something seems off, it is probably a scam. Trust your instincts, not the stranger at your door!

If you think you have spotted a scam or have been targeted by a scam, there are a number of government and law enforcement agencies that you can contact for advice or to make a report.

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: www.antifraudcentre.ca

The Competition Bureau's Information Centre: www.competitionbureau.gc.ca

Office of Consumer Affairs: www.consumerhandbook.ca

Better Business Bureau: www.bbb.org

Canada Revenue Agency: www.cra-arc.gc.ca


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