Gympie resident’s encounter with ‘fat-faced’ fake tradie
GYMPIE resident Shirley Dennien says she was never in danger of being scammed when one of the “fake tradie brothers” called on her house last year, but hopes her run-in with him could still serve as a lesson.
Ms Dennien said she instantly recognised the face of Reenarto Caston on the front page of The Gympie Times as the man who came to her doorstep some time last year, offering a quote for cleaning services to her roof and footpath.
Maroochydore District Court judge Gary Long said Reenarto, 26, was the “prime mover” in scamming elderly, vulnerable people out of almost $70,000 alongside older brother Charles, 29.
He was sentenced today to three years’ jail, suspended for five years after the time he had already served.
Ms Dennien said she refused the man’s offer, and became suspicious when he wouldn’t give her a business card.
“A soon as I saw him I said ‘that fat-faced bloke called on me’,” Ms Dennien said.
“When he came here the paths and roof and everything was absolutely filthy, I’ve had it all cleaned since. I only talked to him through the window.
“He mentioned the paths and the roof needed a clean and wanted to give me a quote, and I said ‘Just give me your business card, and when I decide what I’m doing I’ll decide’.
“He said, ‘Don’t you want a quote?’
“I said ‘No, just give me your business card.’
“After a while he just turned to walk away, and I said ‘Well, what about the business card?’
“He said he’d drop me one later and I told him to put it in the letterbox, but I knew he wouldn’t. I should’ve taken his number plate and I probably should’ve rang the police.”
Ms Dennien said she had seen Caston and his car, which she described as a utility, “hanging around the area” in the days before their encounter.
She said she hoped her experience could serve as a reminder for fellow residents if faced with a similar situation in the future.
“I had no intention whatsoever on giving him a job, I just wanted his business card,” she said.
“If you don’t know them, don’t touch them. If they can’t give you a business card it’s a red flag.”