Bushfire victims warned of electrical scammers

Thursday, 30 January, 2020

Bushfire victims warned of electrical scammers

A free hotline has been set up by Master Electricians Australia for bushfire victims needing electrical checks or work.

Licensed electricians in bushfire-affected areas are encouraged to register their details with MEA so that they can recommend their services.

MEA has also urged residents to be wary of anyone offering free or cheap electrical work, stating that they should call on local and qualified tradespeople in order to avoid being scammed.

“We see this sort of thing following every natural disaster — groups preying on people in areas that have been affected by offering services that are always too good to be true,” MEA CEO Malcolm Richards said.

“We’re establishing a national hotline number of 1300 889 198 for returning residents to call to check the bona fides of electricians they are considering engaging or if they want help to find a qualified electrician.

“Often people are unaware of the need to conduct an electrical safety check following an event like a bushfire, but even homes partially heat damaged can suffer damage to wiring.”

Richards said a common scam involves offering free electricity checks for homes, which then end up costing money for work that could potentially cause a fatality.

“We’re advising residents only to use their local qualified and insured tradespeople for anything to do with electricity in the home,” he said.

“It’s important residents or homeowners realise that electrical work in the home is work that must be done by licensed electricians. Paying for this service ensures local businesses and the local community get back on their feet as soon as possible.”

Residents returning to bushfire-ravaged areas can get help to find a licensed electrician by calling 1300 889 198. Licensed electricians can register their details on the same number.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Phillip

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