Table of contents

Overview

Many reputable businesses across Alberta offer quality and legally-compliant services. To help protect consumers from dishonest business activities, Service Alberta posts alerts for individuals and businesses that pose threats to the marketplace. We hope these alerts will help you make informed decisions, and encourage you to research businesses before making large purchases or signing contracts.

Active alerts

  • Timothy Watson (Edmonton area)

    Region: Edmonton area
    Alert type: Unlicensed prepaid contractor
    Affiliated businesses:

    • Watson Development Group Ltd.
    • Evolution Developments Ltd.

    The Consumer Investigations Unit is warning Albertans in the Edmonton area about an unlicensed prepaid contractor – Evolution Developments Ltd., operated by Timothy Watson. Known to operate under other names, Watson has been convicted for contravening Alberta’s consumer protection laws. He does not have a Prepaid Contracting Licence with Service Alberta.

    A recent investigation by the Consumer Investigations Unit has resulted in a conviction against Watson under the Consumer Protection Act under Section 104(1) – “No person may engage in a designated business unless the person holds a licence under this Act that authorizes the person to engage in that business.”

    Watson is known to:

    • request deposits from consumers without having a Prepaid Contracting Business Licence
    • provide renovation contracts that don’t align with consumer protection laws
    • fail to provide refunds when contracts are cancelled
    • fail to complete all work agreed in contracts with consumers
    • engage in unfair practices, which include taking actions and making statements that might reasonably deceive or mislead consumers

    Printable version: Consumer Protection Alert – Timothy Watson (PDF, 402 KB)

    Related tips:

  • Kirk Berner (Calgary)
    Logo of Great Divide Developments

    Region: Calgary area
    Alert type: Unlicensed prepaid contractor
    Affiliated businesses:

    • Great Divide Developments Inc.
    • Garage Builders 1
    • Alberta Garage Construction
    • Togo Contracting Inc.

    The Consumer Investigations Unit is warning Albertans about a home improvement/renovation contractor, Kirk Berner, operating in the Calgary region.

    Berner is affiliated with Great Divide Developments Inc., Garage Builders 1, Alberta Garage Construction, and Togo Contracting Inc. He has been charged with multiple offences under Alberta’s consumer protection laws and has also faced criminal charges related to fraud.

    Berner is known to:

    • Take deposits from consumers without having a proper business licence.
    • Provide renovation contracts that do not align with consumer protection laws.
    • Fail to refund consumers when contracts are cancelled.
    • Mislead or deceive consumers.

    Printable version: Consumer Protection Alert - Kirk Berner (PDF, 347 KB)

    Related tips:

  • Pedro Brito (Edmonton)
    Close-up of Pedro Brito

    Region: Edmonton area
    Alert type: Unlicensed prepaid contractor
    Name: Pedro Brito
    Alternate name: Pedro Da Silva
    Affiliated businesses:

    • Pegasus Group Ltd.
    • De-lux Commercial Services Ltd.
    • Pro-Reno Contracting

    The Consumer Investigations Unit is warning Albertans in the Edmonton area about an unlicensed prepaid contracting business called Pegasus Group Ltd., operated by Pedro Brito. He is known to use the name Pedro Da Silva and also conducts business under the names De-Lux Commercial Services Ltd., and Pro-Reno Contracting.

    Brito has been convicted of engaging in unfair practices and for operating as an unlicensed prepaid contracting business.

    Brito is known to:

    • Take deposits from consumers without having a prepaid contracting business licence.
    • Provide contracts that do not align with consumer protection laws.
    • Fail to provide refunds.
    • Engage in unfair practices, which include taking actions and making statements that might reasonably deceive or mislead consumers.

    Printable version: Consumer Protection Alert - Pedro Brito (PDF, 167 KB)

    Related tips:

  • Asphalt paving fraud (Alberta-wide)

    Region: Alberta-wide
    Alert type: Asphalt paving fraud 
    Associated business names: Multiple names reported to Service Alberta

    The Consumer Investigations Unit is warning Albertans about unscrupulous asphalt paving companies currently travelling throughout Alberta that commonly target residential, commercial, and farming residents in small towns and rural communities.

    These paving companies often approach consumers stating that they have leftover material from a recent paving project in the area, and will offer to pave a driveway or parking lot at a discounted price.

    Albertans who agree to such offers are then instructed to stay off the freshly paved surface for a period of time (often days or weeks) to allow the surface to harden.

    However, once the consumer begins to use the driveway or parking lot, it begins to crack, crumble, and disintegrate. The work provided fails to meet the minimum industry standards.

    By the time the person or company realizes what has happened, the paving company has often moved on from the area and cannot be located or reached by the consumer. Victims of this scam are then left with the expense of removing the material and redoing the paving work.

    Often, these paving companies will use business names, which could deceive their prospective victims into believing the company is a government road maintenance department, or is affiliated with one.

    The companies often provide fictitious business or postal box addresses to the people they have targeted.

    Printable version: Consumer Protection Alert - Asphalt Paving Fraud (PDF, 525 KB)

    Related tips:

  • Omar and Mohamad Ghandour (Calgary)
    Photo of Omar Ghandour

    Region: Calgary
    Alert type: Unlicensed prepaid contractors
    Names:

    • Omar Ghandour
    • Mohamad Ghandour

    Associated business names:

    • OG’s Renovations Ltd.
    • Your Custom Renovations Ltd.
    • 1st Choice Contracting Ltd.
    • YYC Custom Renovations Ltd.

    The Consumer Investigations Unit is warning Albertans about 2 home improvement/renovation contractors – siblings Omar Ghandour and Mohamad Ghandour – operating in the Calgary region.

    Omar Ghandour is affiliated with OG’s Renovations Ltd., Your Custom Renovations Ltd. and 1st Choice Contracting Ltd. Both Omar Ghandour and Mohamad Ghandour are affiliated with YYC Custom Renovations Ltd.

    Omar Ghandour and Mohamad Ghandour have been charged with multiple offences under Alberta’s consumer protection laws. Omar Ghandour is also facing criminal charges related to fraud and theft.

    Both are known to:

    • Take deposits from consumers without having a proper business licence.
    • Provide renovation contracts that don’t align with consumer protection laws.
    • Fail to refund consumers when contracts are cancelled.

    Printable version: Consumer Protection Alert - Omar and Mohamad Ghandour (PDF, 376 KB)

    Related tips:

  • bookalbertaroadtest.com (Alberta-wide)
    bookalbertaroadtest.com logo

    Region: Alberta-wide
    Alert type: Suspicious website
    Associated business names:

    • Book Alberta Drive Test
    • Road Test Services Ltd.

    The Consumer Investigations Unit is warning Albertans about a website representing itself as a driving test scheduler, operating throughout Alberta.

    Book Alberta Road Test is a suspicious website that does not provide the driving test scheduling service it advertises. It is believed this website collects personal information, including driver’s licence information, full names, addresses and credit card information.

    Albertans are reminded that personal, financial and banking information can be used in identity theft and fraud. Albertans should exercise caution, conduct research and verify the legitimacy of a website and the use of the personal information before disclosing any over the internet.

    Ongoing investigation by the Consumer Investigations Unit suggests that this website:

    • requests personal and financial information
    • charges consumers for a service not rendered
    • engages in unfair practices, which includes taking actions and making statements that may reasonably deceive or mislead consumer

    Printable version: Consumer Protection Alert – bookalbertaroadtest.com (PDF, 66 KB)

    Related tips:

  • Enviro Paving Corporation (Alberta-wide)
    Jason Robert Schoenau of Enviro Paving Corporation

    Region: Alberta-wide
    Alert type: Unlicensed prepaid contractor
    Associated individual: Jason Robert Schoenau

    The Consumer Investigations Unit is warning Albertans about a paving contractor – Enviro Paving Corporation, and its Director, Jason Schoenau – operating throughout Alberta.

    Enviro Paving Corporation has been convicted multiple times for contravening Alberta’s consumer protection laws. Enviro Paving Corporation’s Prepaid Contracting Business License is currently suspended and a Director’s Order pertaining to this business remains in effect.

    The Consumer Investigations Unit has recently conducted new investigations that have resulted in pending charges against Enviro Paving Corporation and Jason Schoenau for multiple offences under Alberta’s Consumer Protection Act.

    Enviro Paving Corporation and Jason Schoenau are known to:

    • request deposits from consumers without having a Prepaid Contracting Business Licence
    • provide contracts that don’t align with consumer protection laws
    • fail to provide refunds
    • engage in unfair practices, which include taking actions and making statements that might reasonably deceive or mislead consumers

    Printable version: Consumer Protection Alert – Enviro Paving Corporation and Jason Robert Schoenau (PDF, 153 KB)

    Related tips:

  • Nulife Quality Care Ltd. | Alberta Home and Water Solutions Inc. (Alberta-wide)
    Nulife Quality Care Ltd. logo

    Region: Alberta-wide
    Alert type: Licence suspension
    Associated business names:

    • Canadian Home Improvement Credit Corporation

    The Consumer Investigations Unit is warning Albertans that Nulife Quality Care Ltd., which also operated as Alberta Home and Water Solutions Inc., is currently not permitted to engage in direct selling activities in Alberta. Its licence has been suspended until it comes into compliance with licensing and operational requirements of Alberta’s consumer protection laws.

    Printable version: Consumer Protection Alert – Nulife Quality Care Ltd. | Alberta Home & Water Solutions Inc. (PDF, 140 KB)

    Related tips:

  • Canadian Home Improvement Credit Corporation (Alberta-wide)

    Region: Alberta-wide
    Alert type: Unlicensed direct seller
    Affiliated business names:

    • Nulife Quality care Ltd.
    • Alberta Home & Water Solutions Inc.

    The Consumer Investigations Unit is warning Albertans about an unlicensed business – Canadian Home Improvement Credit Corporation (CHICC) – whose representatives have been attending consumers’ homes and offering to test the quality of tap water.

    Once inside consumers’ homes, the representatives solicited, negotiated and concluded rental agreements for the installation and long-term use of home water filtration systems. Financing of those contracts was provided by CHICC. Service Alberta has ordered the CHICC and to any employee, representative, or agent of CHICC to immediately cease engaging in direct selling activities until an appropriate business licence has been obtained.

    Printable version: Consumer Protection Alert – Canadian Home Improvement Credit Corporation (PDF, 127 KB)

    Related tips:

  • True Loan Inc. | True Payday Loan (Alberta-wide)

    Region: Alberta-wide
    Alert type: Unlicensed payday lender/High-cost loan lender
    Affiliated business names:

    • True Loan Inc. operating as True Payday Loan
    • Group Buddy Inc.
    • Groupe Buddy Inc.

    These businesses operate a range of websites identified below:

    • TruePaydayLoan.ca
    • NationalPaydayLoan.ca
    • CashBuddy500.com
    • CashBuddy500.ca
    • FastmoneyLoans.ca
    • PaydayKing500.com
    • SimpleLoans500.com
    • creditmontreal500.com
    • pretsohben.com
    • rapidpaydayloans.net
    • royalfinances.ca
    • solutions500.com
    • Speedypayloans.ca
    • Speedypayloans.com
    • Pretcash2000.com
    • Magikloans.com
    • Magikcash.com
    • Gofivehundred.com
    • Cashflow500.com
    • Cash2gonow.com

    Service Alberta is warning Albertans about unlicensed payday loan and high-cost loan lenders operating under the above names. These lenders are not licensed to engage in payday or high-cost lending in Alberta. Investigations into consumer complaints have determined these lenders have engaged in prohibited lending and collection practices under the Consumer Protection Act, Payday Loan Regulation, and High-Cost Credit Regulation.

    Any person engaging in payday lending (loans of $1,500 or less with a term of 62 days or less) or high-cost lending (any credit at a rate of more than 32%) must be licensed under the Consumer Protection Act. You can search to determine if a lender is licensed.

    Any Albertan who has entered into a loan with these lenders and has been the subject of unfair practices or abusive collections behaviour is encouraged to file a complaint with Service Alberta through the Service Alberta Consumer Contact Centre at 1-877-427-4088.

    Printable version: Consumer Protection Alert – True Loan Inc. (operating as True Payday Loan) (PDF, 125 KB)

    Related tips:

What you can do

Know your rights

Get to know Alberta’s consumer protection laws:

File a complaint

If you have information to share about unfair practices or financial losses related to consumer transactions, you can File a consumer complaint.

File an anonymous tip

Call in an anonymous tip about suspicious consumer transactions to the Report a Rip-off phone line.

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