THE Office of Fair Trading is warning consumers to avoid doing business with a dodgy painter and renovator who has also been operating as an unlicensed motor dealer on the Gold Coast.
The OFT says it has received a number of complaints against Ali Faraj of ‘Pro Master Painting and Maintenance’.
Mr Faraj is accused of taking deposits from consumers for painting and renovation works but failing to pay the licensed tradespeople to complete the work, leaving both parties at a financial loss.
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Mr Faraj is also alleged to be operating as a backyard motor dealer, selling second-hand vehicles without a motor dealer licence.
The man is thought to have used at least nine different aliases to purchase 29 vehicles from various auction houses, some of which were advertised and sold to the public via online classifieds.
The OFT announced on Wednesday it will pursue enforcement action against Mr Faraj under the Australian Consumer Law and the Motor Dealers and Chattel Auctioneers Act 2014.
Mr Faraj has previously been convicted of deceiving business practices in a number of states including South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia.
On 22 November 2013, the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs in South Australia warned the public of dealing with Mr Faraj.
Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said Queensland consumers had a right to be warned of the deceitful actions of Mr Faraj.
“Queenslanders are urged to be wary of Mr Faraj’s activities and are encouraged to do their research when hiring tradespeople to ensure they find appropriately licensed and trusted businesses,” Mr Bauer said.
“Traders who prey on consumers in the marketplace and in the motor industry will not be tolerated by Australia’s consumer protection authorities.
“If a trader insists on a large payment up-front for goods or services, consider taking your business elsewhere.
“Additionally, unlicensed motor dealers need to understand they are presenting a significant risk to consumers and can expect no leniency from the OFT.”
A free search tool can be found on the OFT website to check if a motor dealer is licensed.
Further information on the motor industry and claim fund is available on the OFT website or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).