This Scams Awareness Week, homeowners are reminded to shut the door on scammers who pose as legitimate and honest tradespeople, following four recent complaints to NSW Fair Trading about travelling conmen.


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Nomad con artists regularly move across Australian borders, targeting NSW communities, offering services like cleaning driveways, painting and sealing roofs and home repairs. They may work individually or as part of a larger group.

These expert fraudsters use convincing tactics to trick customers into believing they are honest and licensed tradespeople. But the charm quickly disappears when they demand money up front and then disappear, leaving their work unfinished or in poor condition.

One recent victim told NSW Fair Trading they received a pamphlet advertisement in their mailbox and paid $5,200 for their roof to be cleaned, sealed and painted. When it rained two weeks later, the poor quality of work was revealed as water leaked on the walls, floor and carpet inside the home. The scammer had disappeared and was uncontactable.

Letter box drops, door knocking, and online advertisements are common tactics used by conmen try to reach out to new victims. They provide customers with quotes and invoices, often using fake or stolen details.

Warning signs for consumers include someone showing up to your door unexpectedly with a special deal, demanding large amounts of cash up front, pressuring you into accepting a deal and offering to drive you to the bank for money.

NSW homeowners should ask for a tradesperson’s licence and check the business name and ABN before they agree to a contract and pay any money.

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