Kingston, Ont. police warn homeowners about roofing scam

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Kingston Police warn homeowners about roofing scam
WATCH: Kingston Police are sounding the alarm about a new roofing scam after one resident was recently left with a partially demolished wall and out thousands of dollars. – May 23, 2023

Police in Kingston, Ont., are warning homeowners about a new roofing scam after one resident was recently duped into paying thousands of dollars.

Police say two men knocked on a victim’s door in the downtown area last week. They claimed to be employed roofers, advising the homeowner their roof and chimney needed repairs. Police say the victim was persuaded to make a down payment of between five and 10 thousand dollars.

The following day, the suspects began ripping up the walls of the house, and claimed more work was necessary or the walls would collapse. When the victim tried to back out of the deal and get their deposit back, the roofers vanished.

“This [scam is] obviously concerning because of the damaged caused, as well once they get in there and they start doing work, people are more susceptible to say yes now that one of their walls is open. They don’t want to tell somebody to stop,” Const. Anthony Colangeli told Global News.
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The first suspect went by the name ‘Dave’ and is described in his late 20s, short, with a medium build and average-length, dark-blond hair. He also had a beard with a moustache, was wearing a safety vest, and spoke with Australian accent.

The second suspect — who identified himself as ‘Steven Joyce’ from Scotland — is described as in his late 30’s, approximately six-feet-one-inch tall with a muscular build. He had average-length, dark-blond hair and no facial hair.

They were driving a black Dodge Ram 4×4 pick-up and claimed to work for ‘Fineline Roofing’ out of Halifax.

Global News reached out to that company. It turns out that they don’t even do work in Ontario.

“To confirm, we do not go to people’s homes unless requested. We only work in Nova Scotia. We do not require a cash deposit for any residential job,” owner Charlie Humber wrote to Global News in an email.

In light of the scam, Kingston Police is advising homeowners to do their own due diligence before hiring a contractor.

“Just to exercise caution when you are speaking with those individuals and to always check your references before hiring a company,” Const. Colangeli says.

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