A precautionary warning to victims of the recent bushfires in Perth and South West WA that they could be targeted by roving crooks aiming to capitalize on their misfortune.
The warning also extends to those considering donating to ensure they are not fooled into giving money to scammers instead.
Consumer Protection Commissioner Gary Newcombe said that although no report has yet been received, it is common in such circumstances for bogus transactions to appear on the premises.
“We urge residents of bushfire-affected areas to beware of bogus traders or unlicensed traders who often target post-disaster areas by going door-to-door and offering cheap deals,” he said. said Mr. Newcombe.
“Say no to unsolicited approaches and beware of marketers who only use a first name and mobile number.
“Instead, ask for recommendations from relatives, friends, or social networks, get multiple quotes, and view past work. Ask for proof of identification, such as a plumber’s or electrician’s license, or proof of membership in an industry association. Also be sure to check with your insurer before authorizing any work.
“Consumers so approached are entitled to a ten-day cooling-off period, so no money should change hands and no work done during this period.”
Bushfire disasters also attract charity scams, so beware of bogus fundraising attempts via social media or online.
“Scammers may create fake Go Fund Me websites or pages that purport to raise funds for the affected community or individual victims. Do not respond to random emails or text messages that may come from scammers posing as established charities and contain links that direct you to fake sites.
“These scams not only deprive the donor of their money, but take away much needed funds from those affected by the bushfires.
‘Those wishing to fundraise are also reminded that fundraising for charitable purposes such as this requires a license or an approved charity to be involved.’