CONSUMER Protection is warning West Australian homeowners and tradies to be on alert for a Victorian conman masquerading as a landscaper.
Raymond El-Safadi (aka Mohammed Hussein) has already ripped off two consumers and a sub-contractor for large amounts of money.
Mr El-Safadi (49) operates under under ABN 71 802 749 742 and has two business names: Elite Gardening and Tree Lopping Services and Lawn and Order Gardening and Tree Lopping Services.
He has taken a total of $51,700 from two consumers but has failed to complete the majority of the work.
A Kingsley home owner claimed to have paid him $31,700 to carry out tree lopping, landscaping, house rendering and fencing as well as to erect a limestone wall.
While the tree lopping and rendering services were carried out by sub-contractors hired by El-Safadi, the remainder of the agreed work is outstanding.
North Coogee homeowners claimed they paid a total of $20,000 for landscaping and concreting services.
El-Safadi removed some pavers and decking and carried out other minor work but the majority of the agreed work remains outstanding.
A tree lopper who carried out some work on behalf of El-Safadi claimed to be owed $10,349.
El-Safadi/Hussein, who had his Hipages account suspended following complaints, still advertises on Yellow Pages.
He is well known to consumer and police authorities in Victoria after carrying out multiple deceptions on consumers in that state.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said El-Safadi’s history in Victoria shows that he has now become a major concern for authorities in WA.
“We fear that this known fraudster has now turned his sights on WA consumers as he aims to take large amounts of money from them but do very little of the work in return,” Mr Hillyard said.
“I am also concerned that he engaged a hard-working sub-contractor who carried out a lot of work under his direction and in good faith, but didn’t get paid.
“El-Safadi has a long track record of engaging in this type of fraud dating back to 2011 so we want Western Australians to be on the alert and not to do any business with him. Ignore his online advertisements and, if approached, contact Consumer Protection immediately.”
El-Safadi is described as 183cm tall, with solid build, brown eyes, black hair and an olive complexion.
Consumers who have had unsatisfactory dealings with El-Safadi/Hussein but have yet to contact Consumer Protection can email firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com> or call 1300 30 40 54.