Renovating - be careful of con-men

March 29, 2013 10.29 am by. Lyndell

I got caught – What was a cheap quote to renovate my bathroom and kitchen for $10,000 cost me $48,000 in the end. So much money and so much stress, plus two more months of work. Ask to see their builders licence, get referrals from happy past clients, and use a local business when possible.

The following is from NSW Department of Fair Trading. Wish I read it first!

What should I look out for?

You can’t tell if they are dodgy just by the way they look. Be suspicious of people who:

  • offer cheap deals ‘for today only’
  • ask for cash up front
  • offer to drive you to the bank to get money for payment
  • make you feel pressured to accept their offer
  • disappear and leave the job unfinished or of poor standard.

Watch a real life story about being scammed by travelling con men

What if a con man calls on me? This is what you should do:

  • Don’t open the door if you are unsure who the caller is
  • Say no
  • Record as much information as you can, such as their name and vehicle registration
  • Report them to NSW Fair Trading by calling 13 32 20
  • Warn your friends, family and neighbours.

Protect yourself

Don’t be tempted by unexpected cheap deals – they may be much more expensive in the long run. If you decide you need to get work done on your house, you should:

  • shop around for the quote that is right for you
  • only use licensed tradespeople who provide written quotes
  • don’t sign any agreement until you are ready
  • ask for contact details or previous clients for references.

Report a scam to [email protected]

PS. His name was Ray, if you see him, I want my money back.