Roof scam foiled

A FREMANTLE resident has warned people to be on the lookout for scammers claiming to be roofing repairers.

Jackie, who didn’t want her last name used, says it was only her last-minute intervention that prevented her elderly parents from being ripped off by the suspect tradie who was working the area around John Curtin College of the Arts.

“My mum was outside watering the lawn, so he has approached her from the street,” Jackie said.

“He said that he’d been working on the neighbour’s roof and had noticed that she had a missing tile which would cause problems in winter.”

Jackie says the man, who spoke with an Irish accent and identified himself as “John”, was very polite and gave her mother a flyer saying his company was called WA Roofing.

“My mum gave the pamphlet to dad, and he looked it over then said to give them a call to come back and give a quote,” she said.

But her father became suspicious when the neighbours reported they’d had no repair works done, so he called Jackie.

She says she tried to call the mobile number on the flyer, but no one answered. Eventually she texted, warning the man not to return to her parents’ place as she’d advised them to go back to the police.

‘John’ quickly called back, claiming that the scammers were simply using his company name, but when Jackie pressed him for details of his ABN, he refused to provide them.

The Herald called the number, but as soon as ‘John’ discovered it was from the press, he hung up.

Jackie says her family’s experience is an example of why people should be vigilant, and how older people can be extremely vulnerable; her brother works for Consumer Protection and has been warning them about scammers for years, yet John’s approach had got through.

“The reality is that my parents come from a generation where they naturally trust people if they’re polite,” Jackie said.

“And they tend to pay for things by cash.”

by STEVE GRANT

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