Natural disasters can bring out the best and worst in people. Unfortunately, now that the clean-up has begun, traveling con-men known as “fake tradies” will try and take advantage of people.
Fake tradies usually travel around disaster affected areas and offer their services to people who are cleaning up or repairing their property.
They can offer to do jobs like driveway resurfacing, branch removal or roof repairs at cheap rates.
They are unscrupulous tradespeople who offer to do repairs on your property but take your money and leave you with unfinished or poor-quality work.
These con men can be very sophisticated. They might try and prove their legitimacy by showing you a fictitious website, flyer or business card with a false ABN or licence registration.
A fake tradie will:
• Ask for cash up front
• Only provide their first name and mobile number
• Offer to do the work cheaply with materials left over from another job
• Offer to do the work immediately because another job has just cancelled
• Offer to drive you to the bank to get cash to pay for the job
• Pressure you to accept their offer
Protect yourself by:
• Checking their business registration/trade licence online or by calling 13 32 20
• Asking for the tradesperson’s business contact number, so you can call to confirm that the tradesperson is an employee
• Asking a suspected fake tradie to leave, you can call the police if they refuse
Finding a reputable tradesperson:
• Get at least three quotes from three different businesses
• Use established tradespeople who provide written quotes
• Ask your friends and neighbours for recommendations
• Avoid signing any agreement until you are ready