How to spot a fake tradie

A friendly looking fellow is knocking on your door. You’ve never seen them before but decide to open the door anyway to say hello. They introduce themselves as a tradesman, offering you a “today only” deal for roof repairs, house painting, gardening, or driveway resurfacing. These are some tasks that have been on your list, but you haven’t quite got to yet. You’re intrigued as the price they’re offering sounds like a good deal. But don’t be fooled, you’ve just met a fake tradie.

This incredibly un-Australian scam targets vulnerable people in their homes and asks for upfront payments on services you would love to check off your to-do list. They’ll often ask for cash and may even offer to drive you to the bank!

Sadly, fake tradies only end up doing substandard work or won’t finish the job. You won’t be able to contact them as they’ll provide you with fake contact details. With your roof repairs half-finished, you’re in despair and out of pocket. Fake tradies know how to make their services sound appealing, and will even whip out flyers, websites, and advertisements to strengthen their scam.

Ask the right questions

  • Ask for their full name and registration or license details. Then do a quick check with the relevant authority.
  • Independently find the business’s contact details if someone claims to be working for a company.
  • Don’t sign any agreements or contracts without getting someone you trust to check them over.

If a tradie is pressuring you to decide on the spot, they’re not a good person to do business with. The best method is to use established tradespeople who can provide you written quotes. Always be cautious of individuals seeking upfront cash payments and “today only” deals.



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