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Driveway paving scammers reported in Waterloo Region

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As warm weather arrives, there are renewed warnings about driveway paving scammers around Waterloo Region.

Cambridge resident Samantha Falkiner said she experienced a scammer first-hand on Friday afternoon. It was around 1:30 p.m. when there was a knock on her front door.

“He said, ‘Are you looking to get your driveway done?’ And I said, ‘No, I’m not.’ He said, ‘But it’s a special deal today if you wanted to sign up. We do a great job,’” she explained.

“I said, ‘Absolutely not. No thank you.’”

Falkiner said she saw a second man on the other side of her street, knocking on her neighbours’ doors. Immediately, she said the situation felt “off.”

“He was in a perfectly clean, high vis vest; perfectly clean khakis and boots,” she said.

“When they’re saying that they’re an asphalt company and they’re perfectly clean, my gut was just telling me what I’m seeing does not match what they’re saying.”

Company did not exist

The man left a business card with her and she did some digging.

“I looked up all the information online and none of it was legit,” Falkiner said.

“The address was an on-ramp to the 401, the company did not exist. It did not have a website. It was not registered with the Better Business Bureau.”

She called Waterloo regional police to report the situation.

In an emailed statement to CTV News, WRPS said their investigation remains ongoing.

“Two males attended the complainant’s neighbourhood, attempting to sell driveway paving. The males told her the offer was only available for today’s date and provided a fake business card,” WRPS said.

How to avoid falling victim to scammers

Police also said their General Investigations Unit has received recent calls about unsolicited driveway paving, concrete and foundation scams.

Their main pieces of advice to avoid falling victim to the scams are to always research a company online and ask for their references, do not pay in cash, request details, invoices and estimates in paper, and compare costs with other businesses.

The owner of O’Brien Paving, a local company with more than 45 years of experience, said they hear about driveway paving scams every year.

Graeme O’Brien said the fraudsters are typically from out of town.

“[Scammers] will try to get jobs as quickly as possible and then move on before police can catch up with them,” he said.

“The main thing is they’re just doing things absolutely as cheaply as possible, or if they can get a deposit, they just run off.”

He said homeowners should always do research before paying anything.

“If they’re just coming to your door, they may not be a valid company,” O’Brien said.

“The best thing to do is get a written quote and actually see their letterhead, then search for them on the various directories, on Google or Bing, and make sure that they’re actually a legitimate company in the area. Companies don’t travel 100 km to do a single driveway or anything like that. And we generally order the right amount of asphalt for a job, not have a little bit left over to finish up the next job.”

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