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Consumer Alert: Scammers impersonating Whatcom County employees

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — Whatcom County Public Works announced today, June 1st, that they have been made aware of scammers impersonating Whatcom County employees while offering to perform work using free gravel they claim was left over from a nearby job site. These individuals have targeted at least one homeowner in the area, and WCPW says they are raising awareness before they can victimize others.

In the case reported to us, the scammers claimed they were Whatcom County employees in the neighborhood doing ‘chip sealing’ work and referenced all the recent road construction signs in the area. They said they needed a place to get rid of the extra materials and told the homeowner they would spread it around the driveway for free. The individuals brought in equipment and started working on the property until asked to leave, requesting payment for their services.

Unfortunately, scams like these are popular in the spring and summer months. The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has warned about these scams, usually known as ‘asphalt paving scams.’ The scam typically runs as follows: ‘contractors’ show up on your property unsolicited and offer to pave, repair or spread gravel on your driveway. They claim to have extra materials from a job site nearby and just happen to have a crew standing by. They will then offer a one-time-only deal if you hire them on the spot.

The scammers are usually unregistered contractors who travel through a region searching for victims. They often use high-pressure sales tactics and target senior citizens. Then, they commonly find excuses to inflate the price once the job is done.

Please be aware of these practices and know that Whatcom County employees will never show up on your property unsolicited to attempt to sell you materials left over from nearby road projects. Moreover, Whatcom County employees will never try to sell any type of goods or services to any property owner. Remember that the vehicles and equipment they use may attempt to look ‘official’ with flashing lights and other construction-related markings. Whatcom County Public Works (June 1, 2023)

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