Shady tradies using online marketplaces to rip-off consumers

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence The Honourable Yvette D'Ath
  • Queensland consumers are being left out of pocket by dodgy marketplace tradespeople.
  • Consumers are reminded to check a contractor is licensed and read reviews before engaging anyone.

Consumers are being warned to be wary of shady tradies operating on social media or online marketplaces.

Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Yvette D’Ath has urged Queenslanders to do their homework before hiring tradies, especially when advertising online.

In 2023, the Office of Fair Trading prosecuted 14 tradies who accepted money but failed to provide construction services and didn’t refund consumers.

In all cases, they were found to be operating through online marketplaces, service seeking applications or social media.

Social media and marketplaces can help consumers connect with local tradies, but users need to beware of swindlers posing as qualified tradespeople looking to make quick cash and disappear.

In the last two years, the OFT has received more than 720 complaints about tradespeople.

A large number of these complaints related to delay in services, failing to supply, or unsatisfactory services for renovation, plumbing, concreting, and fencing works.

Tips to know when hiring a tradesperson:

  • Do your homework by checking reviews and a general internet search of the business name.
  • Check they are licensed with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).
  • Ask to see certificates for public liability insurance.

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