Unwary residents in Mount Alexander and Gannawarra shires have lost $16,000 to a group of fake tradies who were offering cheap driveway resurfacing.
Consumer Affairs, who did not name the victims, have released details of the latest scams in the hope homeowners will be more cautious with deals that are "too good to be true".
The warning comes after record losses experienced by consumers at the hands of fake tradies - over $2.5 million in 2018-19, more than double lost the previous financial year.
Consumer Affairs Victoria has received over 300 reports of fake tradies in the 2018-19 financial year, up 15 per cent on the previous financial year.
The scams often follow a set of well-known patterns including door-knocking, leaflet drops and offering home improvement services such as roofing, tree lopping, painting and driveway resurfacing.
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Invariably whatever the promise, the work is never carried out or is of a poor or partial standard, and the scammers disappear as soon as they are paid.
In this most recent cases they claimed to have leftover asphalt from a previous job and could offer the job extra cheap.
They also managed to scam $11,000 from one Ballarat homeowner and a further $14,000 from residents in Greater Shepparton and Benalla.
Sometimes their branding, fliers and identification can seem convincing but CAV warns these tradies move around a lot and frequently change their names.
Consumer affairs lists a number of warning signs to be wary of:
- offers of cheap deals using terms such as "for today only"
- being asked for cash up front or an offer being made to drive you to the bank to get money to pay for the job
- claims you have received a fine for asbestos contained in your property
- stating they can do the job now as another nearby has just been cancelled
Victorians should report fake tradies to Consumer Affairs Victoria on 1300 133 408.
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