Nov 21, 2022, 10:09AM EST. Last Updated Nov 21, 2022, 12:17PM EST.
For several weeks, CityNews has been reporting on contractors accused of stealing. In the days since then, more people have come forward to share similar stories.
An anonymous woman living in Toronto’s East asked not to be identified but told CityNews she was out $6,000 after a knock on her door. She says the payment was intended for her father but was stolen as they were moving.
“They seemed to have appeared out of nowhere.”
Two men claim to be roofing contractors, but they said that her husband’s home had a problem.
The Toronto woman explained that they were repairing the roof when they heard a sound. When they looked out of the window, they saw the hole and the raccoon going in and out.
After some back and forth, the couple agreed to allow their workers to deal with the situation. They then claimed there wasn’t just a hole in the roof and more problems.
When their neighbors stopped by, they said that our eavestroughs were sagging, and the flat roof was waterlogged. They also said they would have leaks, if we didn’t address the problem.
Couple paid alleged contractors $6,000 upfront
The couple said it was a little bit less pressure knowing that they had to get the job done quickly. However, they agreed to a price of $12,500 and paid the beginning balance in cash.
“We told them we could write them a check, but they made a big deal about cash being better, so I went to the bank and got the cash,” said the woman.
The husband and wife were told that the workers would return in the morning to start the job. Hours later, he decided to check things out for himself.
“My husband went back on the roof to check the eavestroughs and the flat roof, and they seemed fine,” the woman said. “We became very suspicious when he noticed that the spongy one was drippy.”
After barely working on the project and not fulfilling their commitments, they immediately called to cancel the work and asked for a refund of the deposit that had been put down.
On November 15th, I sent the owner of the house an email to let them know that the check was cashed on December 12th and it’s unlikely that they’ll be receiving the money since the person answering their phone had said there would be refunds over a month later.
For $3,000, I helped a Toronto resident out of a similar fraud scheme.
This woman’s harrowing story is just the latest in a long list of similar ones CityNews has reported on.
“Johnny Wu told CityNews in October that they knocked on the door and said ‘hey, I think we saw a raccoon on your roof.'”
Wu’s family is out an estimated $1,000 because of a similar issue with M.B. Roofing and Masonry, a company involved in CityNews’ recent story about unlicensed contractors. As of now, the company has not responded to their alleged wrongdoing.
Their website contains fake reviews with stolen photos. In addition, they claim they’re at a U.P.S. store, but there is no address listed.
Despite concerns that they are “not legitimate,” Village Stealers has been in operation since March 2018.
“I wish we had done a little more research into these guys before paying them.”
They called the police and soon enough, a detective came to their home. The detective said there would be a follow-up in the case.
With no reply from the police, she claimed that they had left her to handle everything herself.
Toronto police confirmed that an officer was assaulted. They also told the media outlet there had been no arrests so far, and that the investigation was ongoing.
I hope to hear back on this soon, or at least get an idea of what’s going on.
A Toronto Police spokesperson confirmed that many people had come forward with claims of fraudulent activity.
“We’ve received calls where a group defrauds consumers of people in a roofing scam in the Greater Toronto Area,” said the spokesperson. “Investigations are active and ongoing, and we’re working with other agencies to identify and locate those responsible.”
The Toronto Police did not say whether they intend to issue a public alert. The woman who just recently spoke to CityNews is hoping that her story does.
“If we can help one other person avoid getting cheated on, I’ll feel like this effort wasn’t all for nothing. But, we’re out of money.”