Contractor Scam

Posted by Garden Route Contractors on

How a Contracting Scam works

Contracting Scam 101

This is our take on what is happening in South Africa, with regards to contracting scams. 

This information is purely informative and educational for the public to take note of and to take extreme caution on Social Media. Also we are not implying that contractors are scammer but peace of mind is well deserved in these tough trying times. And seeing that our service is free to the public this is good information to digest.

Off course there will be haters that will give their 2 cents via the comments for whats it worth on this blog piece. However I feel it pertinent to highlight this specific issue. 

What we find allot on Facebook, and please pardon yourself from this article if you are a fully fledged known contractor but I encourage you to read in full. 

In short I am going to highlight how these type of scams works. So kindly follow me as I paint it out here below.


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The Scam

The Scam Group

Sometimes the ringleader will have a group of people to rely on. These people no matter their ethnicity, will each create a fake profile on social media. This is phase one of the scam. They look like normal people going about their daily lives and routines just like you and me. What will happen is, is that the Ringleader will go for the relevant training, including accreditation's and the required workman's compensation registration as well. Including other commercials for the sake of a scam. Sometimes for the sake of a scam small work will be performed that will be viewed sometimes by the public members.

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Social Media

The Ringleader or his group will join as many social groups as they can on Facebook. Next will be the establishment of a Social Media Business Page. This page will then be utilized to post pictures of "work" performed (See comment above) creating credibility. Thus creating a sense of establishment. They will then sit and monitor social media. How this works is normally waiting for people to request a builder or a service for instance paving  or swimming pool construction it does not really matter, or other type of service where a contractors expertise will be sought after. Obviously at a reduced rate of course.

So in phase 1, I did mention "normal people" will very easily provide numbers and company pages from fake profiles. More often than not, as noted only about 7% of services listed are real. Maybe 44% is Sub Contracted work and the rest you may be possibly be assured of may be possible scammers. Now do not get me wrong. These variables does fluctuate depending on the type of group. However, it has to be noted that this does happen. And this is predominant on social media. 

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The Scam

The scammer now secures a contract with an unbeknownst victim (You). It easy to say that, seeing that as people we are beings that seek out or look for the best in each other. Or maybe you have a long service record with the SAPS you have retired and are now maybe in a specific construction discipline, for example decking as an example. And you pride yourself to be a pretty good judge of character. - However

What you do not know is that you are being worked. The scammer brings his work crew (which may or might not know the scam) to your work site. Here you provide them in great detail of what you want to be built. Obviously from scratch as your client requires your plan that has been approved by him/her to be carried out. 

The double Scam

Your quote / estimate / invoice has been accepted and so you agree to pay the the scammer upfront lets say an amount of R 80,000.00. The scammer does purchase some of the material or you may even provide some material. However at some point you let slip the details of your client. Or your client meets the scammer in person. (Details are swapped) Unbeknownst to yourself. 

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The Client

Suddenly the scammer does not pitch up for work. You keep on calling and calling but to no avail. You do not want to loose face with the client. So you stall a day or two. The client calls and ask you? Why have you not paid the contractor? You tell the client that you are struggling to get a hold of the contractor. However the client replies that he has now paid the contractor seeing that you have not paid the contractor the amount of R 80,000.00 to finish the work.

The Public Member

The scammer does not pitch up for work. You keep on calling and calling to no avail. Evidently you have material sitting on site. So you decide to call a friend. Your friend introduce you to a real contractor and now this contractor has to do a fix me up on sub standard work. You end up paying more, however seeing that you have to save money now. You tell the contractor just to fix the issue seeing that you cannot afford to fix the issue in full and to specific standard as you may want to. 

Source here

Phase 5 - The Take 

The scammer has earned a cool R 160,000.00 or R 80,0000.00 depending if you used them as as a subcontractor or as public member .i.e Contractor. He has paid his crew an X amount and have left you with a red face. You now owe certain people X amount in building materials or you just lost a great deal of capital. 

Sadly we are seeing more and more of this in the Western Cape and South Africa, including other parts of South Africa. And more people are getting sub standard work. Or have to abide to greater costs.

So a way around this is to source your contractor directly from 

Look we are not implying all contractors provide bad work, in their own right there is extremely good contractors out there. Each of them adhering to standards and procedures and building their reputation through these trying times. And not to mention giving their crews the required training and other relevant legal obligations. 

However our service is free to source contractors for you the public member to make up your mind with which contractor you want to work with. 

Ask your contractor if they have yet to be joined with the Contractors Collective. It is certainly not a must for a contractor to join the collective, however peace of mind for each project you undertake can go a very long way! 

To find out what we do, why we do what we do and what benefits there are for contractors drop us an email at and feel free to sub to our News Letter online. Engage with us!

We are now National across South Africa!

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