Be aware of scam tradespeople

Older Australians are being warned to be wary of shady tradespeople operating on social media or offering their services door to door.

Queensland Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath has urged people to do their homework before hiring tradies, especially those advertising on social media or other online marketplaces.

The services being promoted may include products, renovations, plumbing, concreting, fencing, tree trimming, painting and the like. In the last two years, the Office of Fair Trading has received more than 720 complaints about tradespeople. A large number of the complaints related to a delay in services, failing to supply, or unsatisfactory services.

So how do you know if a business is legitimate? Queensland Government tips to know when hiring a tradesperson include:

• Do your homework by checking reviews and a general internet search of the business name.
• Check the business/tradespeople are licensed with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).
• Ask to see certificates for public liability insurance.
• Make sure you get a written quote or contract with business contact details.
• Arrange an on-site inspection so both parties can discuss details of the job.
• Don’t pay more than the maximum deposit of 20 per cent for work priced at $3,300 or less.
• Always get a receipt for the work, whichever way you paid for it.

For door-to-door sales or services a ‘cooling-off period’ applies when you spend more than $100. This means you can have 10 working days to change your mind for any reason at all. If you do, you don’t have to buy the product.

Some facts about the cooling-off period:

• If the person is selling an item under $500, they can give it to you right away.
• If they’re selling an item over $500, they can’t give it to you for 10 days.
• They mustn’t do any services until the end of the 10 days.
• Don’t pay a cent until after 10 days, even if they give you the product.

It’s also a good option to pay by card as this may provide extra protection by offering a chargeback if the goods or services aren’t delivered.

If you have not received the goods or services you have paid for, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) recommends approaching the trader in the first instance.

If this is unsuccessful, you should lodge a complaint with the OFT at or by phoning 13 74 68.

Jubilee will be hosting a workshop about home safety and scams with Queensland Police Sergeant Jose Sarmiento on April 8 at Indooroopilly. Come and hear the latest news and how to stay safe at home and online. Light refreshments will be served. To RSVP phone Jubilee on 3871 3220 today.



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