Shonks target Lennox Heads victims
RUMOURS are rife in the Lennox Head community about dodgy tradesman attempting to rip-off vulnerable residents in the wake of last Thursday’s devastating tornado.
There have been reports of men claiming to be builders approaching a 90-year-old resident who suffered extensive damage to her home.
The men claimed they could fix the house, but she would need to pay for their services up-front.
The men gave the woman banking details into which she was asked to deposit money for the repairs.
However, the woman did not pay the men.
The men were reported to be doing laps of the town looking for people to offer their services to.
A NSW Department of Fair Trading spokesperson said it had not received any reports about the incident, but such scams were common following storms where there was widespread destruction to property.
Fair Trading Minister Virginia Judge issued a warning about unlicensed traders who often target storm-affected areas hoping to make a quick buck.
“They peddle services door-to-door offering cheap prices for cash jobs and only stick around long enough to be paid,” Ms Judge said.
“More often than not, the work is substandard and people are left out of pocket.
“These individuals are not concerned about consumer rights or the law. Instead they prey on people’s need to fix problems quickly.”
Ms Judge urged Lennox Head residents not to use unlicensed and uninsured builders.
“Residents should be wary of those who only provide first names and mobile phone numbers,” she said.
“It can be impossible to contact them when problems arise.
“It is always best to choose an established, licensed trader who is more likely to be around in the future if you need them to come back and rectify any problems.”
Residents can check to see if a tradesman is insured and registered by visiting www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au or by phoning 13 32 20.
Residents should be cautious of builders who only give their first names and only have a mobile phone contact.
Unlicensed builders can face fines of up to $22,000.
NSW Fair Trading can provide information about how to choose a tradesman.