Speakers Corner: Police investigating after Toronto family says they were harassed by workers

In the latest edition of Speakers Corner a Toronto man says his mother was traumatized by workers who claimed to be from a roofing company. Police say it was likely a scam and have launched an investigation.

By Pat Taney

For today’s Speakers Corner, a Toronto man reached out to us after his mother had a terrifying experience in Toronto’s east end.

Johnny Wu showed CityNews the damage left behind after his mother, who was too afraid to go on camera, had a visitor at their home.

“They knocked on the door and said ‘hey, we were doing work on a home next door and we saw a racoon go onto your roof,’ “Wu explained.

The men claimed to be roofing contractors and said they’d get rid of it.

“My mom is afraid of racoons, so she said let’s fix it and get it out of the way. They then ended up ripping up some shingles and said there was a hole on the roof but there was no hole there,” Wu said.

He then says the worker told his mom the chimney was not secure.

“They said it was not to code and threatened to report her to the city if she did not hire them to fix it,” Wu said. “My mom is an immigrant from China and got scared.”

She agreed to pay them $1,000 cash up front and another $1,000 once the work was complete. No contract was ever signed.

“They sort of spackled one side of the chimney and said we’re done can you pay me the extra $1,000. My mom said ‘no, it all looks the same.’ ”

And then Wu says, things got downright scary.

“The worker starts moving the chimney, breaking off pieces of brick from the chimney and throwing it into the alleyway. Then one of the guys got off the roof and started kicking in the back door demanding the extra payment. My mom was scared, locked the door and told them to go away.”

She notified other family members who then called police.

The company the men claimed to work for, is M.B. Roofing and Masonry.

Their website shows photos of past work they’ve done, but we checked and those photos were stolen from other Toronto roofing companies.

Even more, the website claims to have originated in 1997, but according to Google, it launched only about four weeks ago. There are zero reviews of them anywhere online.

Police told the Wu’s they may have been the target of a scam circulating around the GTA.

“The detective told us a bunch of mainly U.K. people have been pulling this scam on elderly immigrants.”

CityNews reached out to the company for comment. The person who answered one of our calls first claimed they weren’t M.B. Roofing and Masonry and hung up.

In follow up phone calls, another person did admit that was their company name and said the owner would be calling us back.

Several days later, that owner never did.

We followed up with emails and texts but have not heard back.

Toronto Police confirmed to CityNews that they are investigating but said until it’s complete, they have no further comment.

As for Johnny Wu and his family, his mom is still shaken.

“She hasn’t been able to sleep much,” he said. “She’s worried they will come back and get more violent.”

But he’s speaking out, hoping his story helps others.

“If someone comes to your door and offers to do work, check them out first. Seek other contractors that are credible.”

If you have an issue, story or question you’d like us to look into reach out to us here.

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