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Ontario woman says she's shocked and angry after losing $80,000 in roofing scam


An Ontario woman said she was shocked and angry after handing over $80,000 to a roofing company that claimed she had problems with her roof that didn't exist.

"I didn't have any issues, leaks or problems with my roof, but he convinced me my roof was in such bad shape that it was going to cave in," Judy Poirier, of Scarborough, told CTV News Toronto.

In November, Poirier said someone knocked on her door to tell her it appeared she had problems with her chimney, which she said she was aware of.

While the contractor completed chimney repairs for a reasonable price, Poirier said he told her that the roof was in rough shape when he was on his ladder one day.

"As he was up there, he said the roof felt a little spongy. So, he ripped up some shingles and said, 'Oh yeah, you have some damage there,"' said Poirier.

According to Poirier, the contractor claimed he knew a roofer who could immediately get on top of the repairs. When the roofer arrived, he told Poirier her roof was in horrible condition.

"He told me, 'This is an extensive job. There is way more damage here than we thought,'" said Poirier, adding he claimed there was mould and other damage that would cause her ceiling to collapse.

Poirier said the original quote was set at $10,000. Then, the amount jumped another $40,000, then an additional $30,000, for a total of $80,000. Ultimately, Poirier said they were trying to get her to pay $125,000.

Poirier handed over the $80,000 but grew suspicious. So, she called another roofer to inspect the work, who told her the roof didn't need repairs.

By this time, her roof had already been ripped up, and she had to hire another roofing company to repair the damage, which cost her another $5,000.

Poirier said she told the initial roofing company to halt work on her home. Since they left, she said they left behind some of their equipment, cut off all contact and no longer returned her phone calls. CTV News Toronto could not reach out to the roofing company in question, as Poirier had no record of the company outside of their phone number, and they no longer answered.

Poirier filed a police report. The Toronto Police Service told CTV News there have been several complaints of multiple roofing scams throughout the city this year.

In a news release, Toronto police said to beware of door-to-door sales, not to be pressured to make quick decisions, and to research a company carefully before moving forward with a roofing job to avoid getting scammed.

Police said never to provide a large down payment or make payments in advance before the work is completed.

After her bank investigated, Poirier said she had been able to retrieve some of the funds she paid to the scammers and said she wanted to share her story to warn others.  

“If they come to your door and try to pressure you just stop. Don’t move forward with it, don't let them rope you in with their fear tactics,” said Poirier. Top Stories

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