Coolum Police are seeking assistance from anyone who has been contacted or defrauded by a man claiming to be a painter, renderer, removalist or fencing contractor.
The man contacts victims via popular online classified ad/community sites and requests an upfront deposit for the work that is to be carried out.
The man takes the deposit and makes excuses as to why he can't start the work.
The work is never completed and the victims are left out of pocket. Authorised contractors should be able to provide a Contractor's Licence issued by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission.
You can check to see if a licence is legitimate online at http://www.qbcc.qld.gov.au/.
Here are some tips: • Never pay the full price up front or too large of a deposit
• Don't pay payments in advance of work progress
• Get multiple quotes before agreeing to one contractor
• Check the references of any potential contractors you are going to use
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) have published The Little Black Book of Scams which highlights a variety of popular scams and provides tips on how to better protect yourself from becoming a victim of a scam. For further information and to download a copy of the book visit the ACCC website.
Also, be aware that money laundering is a criminal offence. Do not agree to transfer money for a stranger as you may be helping conceal the source of illegally obtained money.
If you have been contacted by such a person looking to perform similar works who cannot substantiate their credentials, please contact Coolum Police on 5440 2777 or Policelink on 131 444.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation working in partnership with the Queensland Police Service.
For all non-urgent police reporting or general police inquiries contact Policelink on 131 444 or Policelink.qld.gov.au 24hrs a day.