A Blackfalds family is frantically trying to fix their roof after falling victim to a roofing scam, and wants to warn the public.
Brandy Switzer said her roof was left without shingles, and shoddy work that was done, left her with severe water damage inside her home when this week’s rainstorm struck.
“Now I have water damage everywhere in my house,” Switzer said.
“It’s pretty much going to be a full gut because it’s in the roof, it’s in all the walls, it’s in the upstairs floor, plus the ceiling of the basement and the walls of the basement.”
She said she lost about $6,000 to the scammer, plus the cost of materials to finish the roof and do interior renovations.
“The majority of it we’re going to try and do ourselves to cut down on the costs. Like everybody, money’s getting tight.”
She contacted the RCMP and the Consumer Investigations Unit, which is a department within Service Alberta.
“Hopefully between the consumer fraud department and the RCMP they can figure out whose jurisdiction it is to bring him up on charges and find other people who have been scammed too.”
She said there are likely other victims who may feel too embarrassed to make a report, but they need to say something or else the phony roofer will keep getting away with it.
Switzer said people need to be careful who they hire, and look out for sweet-talkers.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably too good to be true.”
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre said the top five most reported scams and fraud in 2021 were extortion, phishing, merchandise scams, service scams and vendor fraud.
The centre encourages victims of scams, fraud or cybercrimes to contact their local police as soon as possible.
People should also report incidents, whether they are victims or not, to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre via the online reporting system or by phone at 1-888-495-8501.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and the RCMP’s National Cybercrime Coordination Unit are working together to develop a new national reporting system for individuals, businesses and other organizations to report fraud and cybercrime incidents to law enforcement. The new system is expected to officially launch in 2023-2024.