August 26, 2013 (1:46 p.m.)
Buying Firewood? Don’t Get Burned
HRM Partners in Policing are warning citizens to be cautious when buying firewood.
Each year, the HRP/RCMP Integrated Financial Crime Unit investigates numerous complaints where citizens have ordered firewood but received less than the quantity for which they paid. These cases typically involve sellers who post their numbers on the side of the road or advertise on on-line advertisement sites, and often involve fraudulent receipts.
To minimize your risk of being scammed, HRM Partners in Policing offer the following tips:
When ordering firewood:
- Always use reputable sellers. Contact the Better Business Bureau to verify the authenticity and reputation of sellers.
- Ask the seller to state the quantity of firewood being sold including the exact dimensions. A cord is defined as 128 cubic feet of stacked roundwood, wood stacked to measure 4' x 4' x 8', or 4' x 2' x 16' constitutes a cord because each stack occupies 128 cubic feet.
- Ask for the firewood to be delivered stacked in the truck so that you can measure it before it’s unloaded. If the seller can’t deliver the wood stacked in the truck, try to make arrangements to pay a portion of the money when the firewood is delivered and the remainder after you’ve stacked and measured the wood.
When receiving firewood:
- Be present at the time of delivery; don’t rely on a neighbor to accept delivery on your behalf.
- Ask for a receipt that shows:
- the quantity including the exact measurements and type of firewood purchased
- the seller's name, address and telephone number
- the price paid
- Verify with the delivery person that the information on the receipt is correct, including the company name, address and phone number, and record the make, model and license plate number of the delivery vehicle and the name of the delivery person. In the event a fraudulent receipt is issued, having this information will help the investigation.
- If the firewood isn’t stacked on the truck so that you can measure it, you should immediately stack and measure the firewood to calculate the quantity you received. If you have been short changed, contact the seller before using any of the firewood.
If you think you have been the victim of a fraud, contact the HRP/RCMP Integrated Financial Crime Unit at 490-1985.