A resident of Victoria Street in Kingston, Ont., is out $7,500 after men claiming to be roofers took his money and disappeared.
Det. Craig Boyce says Kingston police are investigating the apparent scam that happened Feb. 28 that started with a very professional-looking quote for roof repairs.
“Which they put on a piece of letterhead from an actual roofing company in the area and just handwritten and he went ahead and got the cash,” Boyce said.
Police say when the man had second thoughts, he called the and arranged for a refund but the scammer never showed to return the money after promising to do so.
Global Kingston managed to locate and speak with the elderly man that was victimized by the scammers. He says he was working in his yard when he was approached by three individuals.
He says it was one person in particular that did all the speaking and gave him the sales pitch that convinced him to let them start doing work on his house.
“Unfortunately it’s not the first time I’ve heard of something like this happening in this industry,” said Benn Van Ryn, owner of Rydel Roofing in Kingston.
He says most professional roofers will never ask for payment right away.
“We would set up an appointment where people have a chance to look us up in advance, they can read our reviews and we go in depth on everything,” he said. “It’s not like we’re asking for a bunch of cash right there, so that’s an immediate red flag for me.”
Police say they believe the Victoria Street resident isn’t the only person approached by these individuals. Boyce says police are hoping to get as much evidence as they can from the public.
“People have surveillance cameras, they have the door cameras, some people even in their cars,” Boyce said.
Police say before agreeing to any work, research the company online and contact the company directly, not using phone numbers or email addresses given by someone on your doorstep.