OPP – paving and construction fraud.

The North West Region (NWR) Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to warn community members of a crime trend involving paving and construction fraud.

Every year thousands of Canadians are victimized, and millions of dollars are lost through many forms of fraud. To avoid becoming a victim, the OPP reminds residents to be alert to repair deals as fraudsters are persistent, persuasive, and at times aggressive.

Here are some warning signs:

  • Examination of these “contractors” often reveals the absence of an official online presence, registration with local chambers of commerce, the Better Business Bureau or similar reputable organizations.
  • Fraudsters often contact individuals directly at their homes or via telephone, employing persuasive tactics about the necessity for a service they neither requested nor require. Exercise caution when opening your door to unexpected visitors or solicitors offering items or services.
  • Fraudsters employ professionally designed flyers and websites that have a legitimate appearance.
  • Most contractors will know how much material they need for a job, so if they show up at your door saying they have “leftover” from another job, be cautious.
  • If there’s no written contract with an up-front quote, and the price changes mid-job due to “unforeseen problems,” you’re at their mercy.
  • Fraudsters target vulnerable people, including seniors, and request cash payments for “today only” deals.
  • It’s a red flag when a payment is asked for up-front or before the job is completed.

To learn about ways to protect yourself from scams and frauds, the OPP encourages community members to stay educated on fraud prevention. If you are the recipient of a fraudulent call, text, or email, or if you’ve been a victim of a fraud or want to learn more information, you are encouraged to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501 or visit www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.




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