British Columbia

Paving scam surfaces in North Vancouver, prompting warning from BBB

The Better Business Bureau is issuing a warning to homeowners about scam artists offering a cheap, quick fix for driveways in the Metro Vancouver area.

Better Business Bureau says scammers target homes with cracked driveways, ask for cash upfront, then vanish

People should never pay large amounts upfront, especially in cash, the BBB says. (Canada Border Services Agency)

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is issuing a warning to homeowners about scam artists offering a cheap, quick fix for driveways after a North Vancouver, B.C., resident lost thousands of dollars to a supposed contractor. 

The resident reported paying $4,500 for a job that began cracking just days after it was completed, according to a BBB statement on Monday.

When the resident complained, the business promised to return to fix the driveway but never turned up. Calls to the business have since gone unanswered.

The BBB said the victim even visited the address on Venables Street in Vancouver that was listed on the company's website, only to find another, unrelated business there.

"If you are considering having some paving work done, it is crucial to research trustworthy paving contractors [...] before handing over money," BBB public relations manager Karla Laird said. 

Never pay cash up front: BBB

The bureau warns these types of scams typically increase during the spring and summer when owners start thinking about making home improvements.

In many cases, contractors claim to have leftover materials they can use to fix driveways in obvious need of repair.

The contractors start the job but end up leaving it unfinished or use inappropriate or substandard materials.

The BBB says consumers should always check the person offering a service is part of a local company with an actual address, and ask to get an agreement in writing on the scope of the work to be done. 

"Do not be pressured into accepting a job before seeking multiple quotations, or worse, paying large amounts upfront, especially in cash," said Laird.

For more information, or if you have been victimized by a scam, go to BBB.org/ScamTracker.

The BBB is a non-profit organization dedicated to "advancing marketplace trust".

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